Unconfirmed reports state that three Tibetans were involved, two of them aged in the 60s and 30s respectively. All three have sustained injuries, but their exact condition and whereabouts remain unknown.
We also hear reports of build-up of security forces and police in and around the city of Lhasa, and its key monasteries, Ganden, Sera, and Drepung. Furthermore, draconian measures to restrict movement of Tibetans in the capital could further aggravate the tense situation in Tibet. With Tibetan New Year on February 22nd and the March 10th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising coming up, we fear there will be further bloodshed and loss of lives. The Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan community's democratically-elected representative, urges the international community to directly and immediately engage the Central Chinese leadership to assert its control over local authorities and forbid police violence and shooting of unarmed citizens.
Drastic actions, such as the self-immolations, indicate to us that the Chinese policies in Tibet have reached new levels of repression. Not mere acts of protest, these actions convey a message which cannot be ignored. They represent an emphatic rejection of the continued occupation of Tibet and repressive policies of the Chinese government. They stand firm for the freedom of the Tibetan people. Over fifty years ago, thousands of Tibetans were forced to flee into exile due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Since then, a broad global network of friends of Tibet has been built. Today, at this critical time, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those individuals, non governmental organizations, Tibet support groups, and the various foreign governments who have recently publicly expressed their concern for the present situation in Tibet. Your unwavering support for truth and justice has made it possible for the Tibetan issue to still be alive.
We call on the Chinese government to address the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people. Only then, will there be a lasting solution to the escalating tensions in the region and the longstanding dispute between Tibetans and the Chinese government. As witnessed recently, Tibetan areas have been closed off and members of the press have been denied access. The international community must let leaders in Beijing know unequivocally that the world is concerned and closely watching events inside Tibet.
To show solidarity and to raise its voice in support of the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people at this critical time, we invite the international community to participate in a worldwide vigil for Tibet on February 8, 2012. We request everyone to conduct these vigils peacefully, in accordance with the laws of your country, and with dignity. In Dharamsala, the Central Tibetan Administration will hold a prayer service at 3 PM at the Tsuglakhang-Main Temple.