An interesting piece here on why some political self-immolations work and others don't, with particular reference to the Tibetan situation: 51 Tibetans have now self-immolated since 2009, to very little response. The extent of China's security presence has clearly been enough to smother anything other than sporadic protests following these incidents. It's not just the fact that PAP troopers go around carrying fire extinguishers but that their whole presence is a fire-blanket.
But still the immolations go on. I'm beginning to wonder if they are actually political in the sense of despair weaponized to promote resistance or whether it's just actual despair we're seeing, an indicator of a wider collapse into a Tristes Tropiques state of mind among Tibetans, especially in historic Cham and Amdo, which hasn't just seen political repression but a wider dislocation of traditional ways of life.
The Dalai Lama meanwhile is apparently hopeful that Xi JInping's arrival will see a softer line on Tibetan affairs, though on closer examination this comes down to the Dalai once being friendly enough with Xi's father to give him a watch and maybe also because Xi is supposed to be a bit of a closet Buddhist. It's not a convincing line of argument.