The Tibetans’ fight for freedom continues — but only just

‘Free Tibet!’ used to be a rallying cry for Hollywood A-listers and rock stars. Richard Gere hung out with the Dalai Lama; the Beastie Boys organised a series of giant benefit concerts. Global attention has shifted to other regions suffocating under the jackboot of the Chinese Communist party (CCP), notably Xinjiang and Hong Kong. But the Tibetans’ fight for freedom continues — though only just. Since 2009, 156 Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest at China’s repressive policies. Nearly a third of them are from Ngaba, a small county on the south-eastern edge of the vast Tibetan plateau. Ngaba (pronounced Nabba and known as Aba in Chinese) is home