Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Tibet, in particular self-immolation by nuns and monks

Delivered in Plenary - 27th October 2011

Mr President

There are shocking reports now of these eight monks and one nun self-immolating in China’s Sichuan province. In each case, seven of which have occurred in the last month, the self-immolation was undertaken in protest at China’s restrictive policies in Tibet, and in particular over the 300 monks who were taken away from the Kirti monastery in April. Tibetans are still without any news of their current whereabouts and well-being.

With the Dalai Lama now in exile for more than 45 years, the EU must urge the Government of the People’s Republic of China not only to provide information on the whereabouts of the missing monks but also, in the longer term, to take measures to ensure that the distinct cultural, religious and national identity of the six million Tibetan people is protected and preserved.

We urge the Chinese authorities to ensure that those Tibetans who have survived their self-immolations are now allowed to recover in hospital and receive the medical treatment that they require, to take steps to lift the siege on the Ngaba region, removing the heavy security presence in the area and the military personnel posted around the Kirti monastery, and, lastly and most importantly, to suspend the implementation of Beijing’s repressive religious control regulations.