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In the News: Tragedy in Tibet



Joined: 4/18/2013
Posts: 3
Dash
On December 17th, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, sparking not only the Tunisian Revolution but the whole Arab Spring. The media coverage of the various revolutions across the Middle East has been extensive, as it should be. And yet the media constantly ignores similar repression and protest (albeit less effective protest) just a few thousand miles away, in the Chinese region of Tibet.
Since March 2011, over 100 Tibetan people have deliberately set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation. This is an astounding figure by itself--but more importantly, it is representative of the repression being inflicted on Tibet by the Chinese government. And yet I rarely hear of such events in the news at all.
Admittedly, the main reason I feel so passionately about this news story, as opposed to others of similar atrocity, is because it is so underrepresented in the media. As a history buff, I have found that the vast majority of atrocities lasted for an extended period of time because most people simply didn’t know about them (or didn’t realize how unjustified they were). This was typically because of propaganda spewed forth by totalitarian regimes, so I feel agitated to see a similar effect taking place in the free society we live in today.
With that said, I do not think we can (or even that it would be a good idea to) march in and force China to leave Tibet. I do think, however, that if people were exposed more to the repression occurring there, then a major step will have been taken in the right direction, and perhaps we can begin working to increase their civil liberties. By increasing American awareness of the situation, the topic becomes a major part of the international political agenda. China may decrease its repression of the Tibetan people in return for a desired American action.
Teens and college students should care about this because--quite simply--we need to care about this. Otherwise, nothing will ever change.

Works Cited
"Full List of Self-immolations in Tibet." Free Tibet. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. <http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet>.

Abouzeid, Rania. "Bouazizi: The Man Who Set Himself and Tunisia on Fire." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2044723,00.html>.
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