Chinese police patrolled outside Johkhang Monastery in the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in March 2014. (Reuters/Jacky Chen)

In Tibet, Bloggers Post at their Own Risk

These are treacherous days for anyone in China who dares to publicly criticize government policy, especially when it comes to Beijing’s handling the troubled ethnic minority regions of Tibet.

A Tibetan blogger named Druklo is one of the latest people to find that out the hard way. Druklo was arrested by Chinese police in a part of Qinghai province that Tibetans call Rebkong, according to a Tibetan friend who now lives in exile. The friend asked to remain anonymous out of concern that making their friendship public might put Druklo at greater risk.

Read the rest of this article at Public Radio International …

Anti-government graffiti in the Ghuraifa/Juffair district of Manama, Bahrain (Joshua Eaton)

Bahrain Shows Two Sides of Ambitious Economic Development

“The name ‘Bahrain’ means ‘two seas,’” our tour guide explained as we walked away from the old Portuguese fort on the outskirts of Manama. “There’s the saltwater sea that surrounds Bahrain. Then there’s the fresh water that bubbles up in the middle of the sea to our north.”

The fort itself is breathtaking, set on a hill overlooking the city on one side and the ocean on the other. Next to it stands a brand new visitors’ center, replete with a gift shop and an upscale café. A few yards away stand new, middle-class houses. But next to them stand shanties, all crumbling cinderblock and chipping paint and rusted tin.

Still in the grips of a two-year uprising, Bahrain is a country filled with such extreme economic contradictions.

Continue reading this article at GlobalPost …

An exiled Tibetan monk holds a picture of 50-year-old, Tamdin Thar, who burned himself to death to protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet during a rally on June 15, 2012. (Strdl/AFP/Getty Images)

China Pushing Tibet into Total Isolation as Self-Immolations Near 100

The frigid air smelled strongly of gasoline when they discovered the lifeless body of seventeen-year-old Jigji Kyab near a busy intersection in Luchu, Tibet on January 19. He was soaked in it, a lighter in each hand. Kyab had gone to the intersection to burn himself alive, swallowing fox poison before leaving so he wouldn’t survive to be locked away in a Chinese military hospital.

He succumbed to the poison before he could complete his final act. Later his parents found a note beside his bed, written in neat Tibetan print on school paper, that explained why he had chosen to sacrifice his life and conveyed his love one last time.

Continue reading at Global Post . . .

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama speaks at Syracus University on Dalai Lama at Syracuse University on Oct. 8, 2012 (VOA)

Self-Immolators and the Dalai Lama: What They Don’t Have in Common

On Nov. 7, 2012, the Dalai Lama sent President Barack Obama a note of congratulations on his reelection. It was, in most respects, an unremarkable form letter. For careful observers of Tibetan politics, however, the last paragraph jumped out:

As you know, it is over a year since I handed over all my political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership … I am very appreciative of your support for our Middle Way Approach, which I continue to believe is the best way for us to ensure a solution that is beneficial for both Tibetans and Chinese.

The Middle Way Approach has dominated international dialog over Tibet since 1979, when it was adopted by Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)—Tibet’s government-in-exile, of which the Dalai Lama was then head of state. Now His Holiness’ letter to Obama reaffirmed the Middle Way Approach amid growing frustration with it from Tibetans in and outside of Tibet — including some who have self-immolated.

Read the rest of this article at Global Post …