Soon after announcing that “inciting” self-immolation would be prosecuted as murder, Chinese authorities arrested a monk and his nephew in Sichuan Province for “goading” people to set themselves alight. Global Times Chief Editor Hu Xijin condemned these “murderers,” and the Dalai Lama, on Weibo:
Dazed netizens complained that Hu’s comments came out of
nowhere–before last week, the Chinese press had been silent on the
violence in Tibet. Many couldn’t believe that people could be simply
“incited” to set themselves on fire. They also called Hu’s bluff on his
proclamation that “life is above politics,” since he tows the Party line
for a state-run newspaper. Some of the comments:
Almost none of these cases of self-immolation were allowed to be
reported. When people go from ignorance to awareness, of course they
will suspect this kind of case-cracking. Burning yourself to death
because you were goaded–sounds like a fantasy story. Suicide
is not a crime. The evolution of the situation in Tibet to today’s
tragic state requires consideration of policy, not dubious victories to
anesthetize the public. If we are to maintain unity [of the country], we
must face this issue head-on.
AuthorTianYou-: Any mishap among the Tibetans is the one of the Dalai Lama’s conspiracies, and any mishap among the Xinjiang people [Uyghurs] is one of Rebiya Kadeer’s tricks.
If you’re going to write a fiction, at least provide some decent
details. What’s truly vicious is framing people groundlessly like this. 96 people have self-immolated, but there’s not one word about it in domestically. The U.S. Congress
has already stated it is watching the situation closely, so you all,
@HuXijin, go and frame the Dalai Lama. You’re playing like gangsters.
我是遇谦谦她妈：编段子也该编出点像样的细节，这种莫须有的栽赃才是真恶毒。已经96人自焚了，国内毫无报道，美国国会已经表示严重关注，所以你们 @胡锡进 就栽赃给达赖。真是耍流氓。
smallhateforbooks: In this instance, Editor Hu says life is above politics, but in every other case he’ll say politics is above life.
freeCrow: What a load of crap. Why would someone self-immolate just because they were “goaded”?
yangdingzhi: I’m in favor of Chief Hu self-immolating. I’ll donate 20 for funeral arrangements. //@TujiaWildman: I’d like to goad Chief Hu to self-immolate, then turn myself in. Is that doable?
澎湃在这：支持胡总自焚，我捐20善后 //@土家野夫: 我想唆使胡总自焚并领罪。可能乎？
shileimemeda: When I go to Tibet, it’s crawling with armed police
and real guns. There are military checkpoints all over. So-called
“national unity,” heh heh. If it was real unity, you would respect their
gods. Some Party would mold itself into the saviors of the people, but
in reality manufactured so many cases of murder. Economic development is
gained in exchange for the resources of countless generations and the
happiness of the people. I think this type of united celebration comes
only from goading.
jiaxuTalktomyself: Oh Hu Xijin, you are a great, glorious, and correct,
fair and selfless Communist Party member! You devote everything to the
world’s most worthy causes! You ought to give your life for such lofty
goals. If you go die today, it will be a powerful testament to the
crimes of the old monks! This testament ought only come from you, and can only come from you! Now go die!!!–Did my goading work?
Funny, I’d never heard of this case, and all of the sudden it’s been
solved… Chief Hu, could you please post a little shout-out to freedom of
the press and abolishing media censorship?
Life is above politics? (Human rights are above sovereign rights?) God,
this is a blatant declaration of leaving the Party! Editor Hu moves us
Who will believe you? You didn’t say a word when these things were
happening. I guess the pressure [of the situation] has forced you to
make up something.