Tsering Woeser is a Tibetan poet, essayist, and blogger based in China. In 2011 she was awarded the Prince Claus Prize and the International Women of Courage Award by the US Department of State.

NYR DAILY

Why Are Tibetans Setting Themselves on Fire?

Liu Yi's portraits of Tibetans who have self-immolated, Songzhuang art village in Tongzhou, on the outskirt of Beijing, December 25, 2012

Since 2008 at least 145 Tibetans have self-immolated as a tool of political protest. Attempts to label these acts as suicide—or even, curiously, as a forbidden act of “killing”—are either a complete misinterpretation of the phenomenon or, more likely, the type of deliberate misrepresentation that we see all too often in Chinese state propaganda.