The tensions have been persistent and rising in Tibet for years. The Chinese government keeps making claims that things are improving in Tibet, while the Tibetans nevertheless continue to share a different story of how horrible it has been living under the repressive policies of China. There has been an increased crackdown in Tibet, reports the Tibet Sun on Jan. 20, 2014.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) says that with greater than 800 political prisoners and repressive policies in Tibet, the human rights situation in Tibet has continued to worsen. TCHRD says the desire for any real reforms in Tibet has been undermined by China’s policies of "violent suppression of peaceful protests, arbitrary detentions, travel restrictions, crackdown on artists, and relocating nomads." The Tibetans feel these policies have been causing permanent damage to the Tibetan culture and the environment.
Since 2009 there have been 125 reported self-immolations by protesting Tibetans, with 27 of these in 2013. Clearly these distressed Tibetans and many others do not feel life is worth living under the harsh rule of a government which shows no respect for their basic human rights and they want to leave behind them a strong message for humanity about this horrible situation.
TCHRD has described China’s response to the self-immolation protests as “merciless repression”. According to the 2013 Annual Report on the situation of human rights in Tibet in 2013 there was a severe crackdown on basic freedoms of Tibetans. Sadly, it appears 2014 too is going to be just another terrible year for Tibetans.