In Other News: Cremations, Self-Immolations, and the Sacredness of Life

1) Xinhua/Enorth (Tianjin), October 13, 2012 —

An official from Beijing’s Development and Reform Commission said that within five years, Beijing would continuously improve the level of civil administration and of infrastructure for the people’s livelihood, with a number of comprehensive projects with major long-term development effects. The projects reportedly include community areas for the elderly, the third municipal ophanage [or children welfare institution], and relocation and rebuilding of Babaoshan cremation facilities. The cemetery itself would remain unaffected, and the project was only about the cremation facilities.

The cremation facilities were to be relocated to Mentougou District (门头沟区), while the former location would be turned into a scenic spot for cultural activities, such as for studies of revolutionary traditions.

The main objectives of the relocation are said to be urban-environment improvement, economical use of land and to address the need of moving municipal functions further to the outskirts.

Mentougou is one of Beijing’s two southwesternmost districts, north of Hebei Province’s Dongling Mountain scenic area. According to a Chinese tourism website, it is an area of revolutionary tourism (red tourism), rural tourism and mountain scenery.

2) Tianjin Daily/Enorth, October 13, 2012 —

The Tianjin Museum of Fine Arts (天津美术馆) opened a China Tibetan Thangka show on October 13. Municipal People’s Congress chairman Xiao Huaiyuan (肖怀远), other members of the People’s Congress, Municpal Organization Department director Yin Deming (尹德明), Municipal Propaganda director Cheng Qisheng (成其圣) and members of the public attended. The exhibition is scheduled to end on October 21.

Tianjin Daily (天津日报):

The exhibition showcases the nation’s and Tibetan Autonomous Region’s proud*) successes in the work of protecting, passing on, and promoting outstanding cultural heritage, raising the brand value of traditional pieces of art, and promoting cultural exchange between Tianjin and Tibetan culture, deepening the [Tianjin] citizens’ understanding of Tibetan culture, promoting national unity, which is all highly significant.

3) International news, October 13/14, 2012 —

According to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Free Tibet Groups, Tamdin Dorjee, reportedly the grandfather of the grandfather of the seventh Gungthang Rinpoche, has burned to death in northwest China after setting himself on fire near a monastery in China’s Gansu province. In other sources, Dorjee’s name is also spelled Tamding Dojee. The 52-year-old reportedly burned himself to death in Hezuo City (合作市), on Saturday afternoon. According to the BBC‘s Mandarin website, the report wasn’t independently confirmed by Saturday afternoon (GMT).

In one of this blog’s Bozhu interviews, British-Tibetan blogger Dechen Pemba noted that self-immolations had provoked strong reactions from non-Tibetans and Tibetans alike. She recommended two blog posts, one explaining why its author would not dare order Tibetans living in Ngaba or anywhere else in Tibet to stop burning themselves, or to stop protesting, or to stop fighting for what they want. Another blogger had asked people on the verge of burning themselves to death to stop killing themselves.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Dalai Lama opposes self-immolation as a violation on the sacredness of life.

If that is so, most of the Chinese public won’t know. Even when it came to the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, the “Dalai” showed no sympathy, but cold and detached gloating instead – according to “China Tibet Net” (中国西藏网), that is, and according to regional websites like Enorth (Tianjin) which republished the article.



*) Originally referred to being arrogant to others. Now it describes something one is proud of.



» The CCP sighs with Emotion, July 17, 2011


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