Why are Tibetans Turning to Self-immolation?

Tibetans who refuse to fly the Chinese flag above their homes risk being beaten or shot in the latest attempt to break their spirits. But now is the best moment in ages to bring hope to Tibet's proud, but desperate people.

No New Year celebrations for Tibetans

Tibetans in a northwest part of China which has been a focus of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule marked a low-key lunar New Year on Monday, with many saying celebrations were inappropriate while the burnings continued.


Nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule since 2009, with most of them dying.

In the past few months, the government has begun a new tactic to discourage the protests, detaining and jailing people it deems to have incited the burnings.

The latest detentions have taken place in Gansu's neighboring province of Qinghai, where police last week detained 70 "criminal suspects", 12 of whom were formally arrested, meaning they will be charged.

The government has also seized televisions in Tibetan areas to prevent people from watching "anti-China" programs broadcast from abroad.

At the same time, Beijing has stepped up propaganda efforts aimed at the outside world, heaping blame on exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and overseas Tibetan groups for fomenting the self-immolations.

Tsundue and Gedun Tsultrim, were imprisoned on November 21, 2012, as they were on their way to pay their respects and say prayers at the home of Wangchen Norbu, a 25-year old Tibetan man who had died after self-immolating two days earlier near Kangtsa Gaden Choepheling monastery in the Kangtsa area of Qinghai.

China is vowing to silence the voice of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in his homeland Tibet by tightening media controls to ensure his “propaganda” is not accessed by anyone on the internet, television or by any other means, a top official has announced.  [Historical Tibet claimed by exiled Tibetans] - Spain Has Indicted Hu Jintao Over Tibet

Intercontinental's hotel in military-occupied Tibet is serving China's repressive regime and human rights abuses against Tibetans

 Repression, hate incitement, and massive arrests

different elements of proof or disproof, all of which they say are "verifiable and in most cases incontestable." One of the elements they considered was the backdrop of the current climate in China, one marked by corruption, human rights violations and a state policy of persecution against Falun Gong that includes repression, hate incitement, and massive arrests. While not revealing exact figures, the Chinese authorities have not denied the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)

In China Mandela's mantle was claimed by both the Communist regime, which had backed the anti-apartheid struggle, and opposition activists, who now seek to emulate it. President Xi Jinping, who supported opponents of apartheid throughout the cold war, praised Mandela's victory in the struggle and his contribution to "the cause of human progress".
Human rights activists pointed out that Mandela's life and death were a reminder of the struggles of homegrown advocates for democracy and an open society, such as the imprisoned Nobel peace prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo.

 Exhausted model

The daily Die Welt declared recently that the tax haven as an economic model has been "exhausted." 

Luxembourg, with a financial sector more than five times the size of its €44 billion GDP has come under particular scrutiny. 

With a financial sector twice the size of its GDP, the United Kingdon could also become a point of interest.

On the London market (the most important in the world for foreign currency dealings), over four-fifths of transactions are not directly linked to trade or investment operations.

A dysfunctional financial sector led us to the brink of disaster in 2008, and yet bank reforms aren’t going far enough to tackle the root causes of the economic crisis. Our four big banks remain too big to fail, and continue to engage in the risky and unproductive activities that caused the crash. We need to establish a more stable, sustainable and socially useful banking system.

Rehn has let the mask slip. It’s not about fiscal responsibility; it never was. It was always about using hyperbole about the dangers of debt to dismantle the welfare state

Pope Francis says trickle-down economics do not help the poor

The don’t-mind-the-gap perspective has lost substantial ground. We endanger our democracy and destabilize our economy

Self-Immolations (in Bulgaria) Highlight a Desperate Electorate

Portugal' State Corruption

The country hasn’t made a single prosecution out of 15 allegations of companies bribing foreign officials in high-risk countries; it prematurely closed several investigations 

Portuguese say country is increasingly corrupt

Portugal's Population continues to shrink

Atrocities committed by some Portuguese, the regular pain of the most of the portuguese (high prices of the electricity/no money for heating) & the (former) portuguese history...

Portugal is one of the most unequal societies in the European Union.

After the end of the country’s dictatorship in the 1970s, public education found itself overwhelmed by soaring numbers of young people seeking degrees. The unmet demand opened a market for private universities, generally regarded as being of lesser quality. But where academic achievement has often failed to create distinction, hazing, known as praxes in Portuguese, has taken on a new and prominent place at the newer private universities, with some having their identity closely tied to the ritual. The situation thrust itself into the public debate here after the drowning deaths of six students during a suspected hazing ritual.

The report said four countries in southern Europe — Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain — "are shown to have serious deficits in public sector accountability and deep-rooted problems of inefficiency, malpractice and corruption."

Angolan journalist and civil rights activist Rafael Marques has been awarded the 2013 Integrity Award by Transparency International for his efforts to fight corruption in Angola.

"The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent

Consequences of World War I that continue to affect us today: the emergence of the United States as the world's policeman, France's unique view of Germany, the ethnic hostilities in the Balkans and the arbitrary drawing of borders in the Middle East, consequences that continue to burden and impede the peaceful coexistence of nations to this day.

The euro can be seen as a de facto foreign exchange intervention to keep the de facto Deutsche mark weak

Recognizing sexual violence as an international crime

Rape committed during war is often intended to terrorize the population, break up families, destroy communities, and, in some instances, change the ethnic make-up of the next generation. Sometimes it is also used to deliberately infect women with HIV or render women from the targeted community incapable of bearing children.
In Rwanda, between 100,000 and 250,000 women were raped during the three months of genocide in 1994.
UN agencies estimate that more than 60,000 women were raped during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), more than 40,000 in Liberia (1989-2003), up to 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995), and at least 200,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998.
Even after conflict has ended, the impacts of sexual violence persist, including unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and stigmatization. Widespread sexual violence itself may continue or even increase in the aftermath of conflict, as a consequence of insecurity and impunity. And meeting the needs of survivors — including medical care, HIV treatment, psychological support, economic assistance and legal redress — requires resources that most postconflict countries do not have.

Ingredients for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world
Anti-Shia hate propaganda spread by Sunni religious figures sponsored by, or based in, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, is creating the ingredients for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world. Iraq and Syria have seen the most violence, with the majority of the 766 civilian fatalities in Iraq this month being Shia pilgrims killed by suicide bombers from the al-Qa'ida umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis). The anti-Shia hostility of this organisation, now operating from Baghdad to Beirut, is so extreme that last month it had to apologise for beheading one of its own wounded fighters in Aleppo – because he was mistakenly believed to have muttered the name of Shia saints as he lay on a stretcher.

Most comprehensive report on climate change ever leaves little doubt that greenhouse gases are causing the world to heat up

The report makes clear that the Earth is warming and the climate is changing, that human activities are primarily responsible, and that without very strong cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases, we face huge risks from global warming of more than 2C by the end of this century 

In 2012, the United States ran a trade deficit of about $540,000,000,000 with the rest of the planet

The art world is a model of a pluralistic society in which all disfiguring barriers and boundaries have been thrown down." - Arthur Danto

Nadir Afonso, (December 4, 1920 – December 11, 2013) was a geometric abstractionist painter. Formally trained in architecture, which he practiced early in his career with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, Nadir Afonso later studied painting in Paris and became one of the pioneers in Kinetic art, working alongside Victor Vasarely, Fernand Léger, Auguste Herbin, and André Bloc.

As a theorist of his own geometry-based aesthetics, published in several books, Nadir Afonso defends that art is purely objective and ruled by laws that treat art not as an act of imagination but of observation, perception, and form manipulation.

O'Toole wasn't good to his word. In 2013, he appeared in the historical drama "Katherine of Alexandria," and he was cast as Symeon in 2014's "Mary, Mother of Christ." Up to the end, Peter O'Toole could never resist the pleasure of being the event.