Dec. 3 - Tibetan Buddhists living in Taiwan stage a hunger strike to mourn the self-immolation of a protester in the disputed region occupied by China. Sunita Rappai reports.
Tibetan Buddhists gather in Taiwan's Freedom Square to begin a 49-hour hunger strike. The protest is in memory of Buddhist nun Tenzin Wangmo, who died after setting herself on fire in eastern Tibet in October. 49 is an important number to Buddhists, marking the traditional length, in days, of the funeral period. Although self-immolation is not allowed in Buddhism, it is becoming a frequently-used way to raise awareness and protest against Chinese rule. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 38-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT OF THE REGIONAL TIBETAN YOUTH CONGRESS TAIWAN TENZING CHOMPEL SAYING: "It is not the way we do, but what they are trying to tell, why they are doing this is they have no choice." (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 45-YEAR-OLD FINANCIAL CONSULTANT LI CHENG-HUI SAYING: "Their voices often remain unheard, so they have no other way to speak out. I think that we who live in the free world should stand up to support them and exert pressure on the Chinese government so that they change the policies towards the Tibetans, which currently are very suppressive." Such protests are a small but potent challenge to China's regional policies, which Beijing believes has lifted many Tibetans out of poverty. China has ruled what it calls the Tibet Autonomous Region since Communist troops took over in 1950. Sunita Rappai, Reuters