News24

Dalai Lama behind self-immolation: China

2012-03-27 16:23

Beijing - China on Tuesday accused the Dalai Lama and his associates of planning the self-immolation by a Tibetan exile in India days before China's president visits, repeating past assertions blaming the spiritual leader for dozens of such protests.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei offered no evidence linking the Tibetan spiritual leader to the exile who lit himself on fire and ran shouting through a demonstration in New Delhi on Monday.

He said the Dalai Lama and his associates have been instigating Tibetan independence and creating "disturbances" and that showed the Dalai Lama and his associates "single-handedly" planned the man's self-immolation.

"These acts aimed at achieving Tibetan independence and separatism through taking people's lives will never possibly be successful and will be severely condemned by the international community," Hong told reporters at a regular news briefing.

About 30 such protests have occurred over the past year in ethnic Tibetan areas of China, and a Tibetan self-immolated last year in India, where many exiles reside.

The Tibetan self-declared government-in-exile has rejected the Chinese government's accusations and issued statements discouraging self-immolation.

Immolation at demonstration

"In the long-term interest of the Tibetan cause, we urge Tibetans to focus on secular and monastic education to provide the necessary human resources and the capability to strengthen and sustain our movement," the group said in a statement on Tuesday. "We once again remind Tibetans to refrain from drastic actions."

Tibetans inside China and exiles say China's crackdown on Tibetan regions is so oppressive, those who choose such a horrific form of protest feel they have no other way to express their beliefs.

Jamphel Yeshi, aged 27, lit himself on fire during a demonstration against Chinese rule over Tibet and against Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India this week.

Photos and video of Yeshi in flames were widely circulated across the globe in contrast to previous self-immolations that have happened in Tibetan areas in China that are subject to an intense security crackdown and largely inaccessible to the media.

Badly burned

Yeshe's cousin and roommate, Sonam Wangyal, said Yeshe was from a farming family in a Tibetan region of Sichuan province and had been unemployed since moving to New Delhi. He was a regular at Tibetan protests but had never talked about burning himself alive, Wangyal said.

He was clearly torn about what his cousin did.

"He is so badly burned," he said, after visiting Yeshe in the burn ward at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi. But "all the Tibetan people are suffering. ... We are fighting for freedom. The world should know this".

He described Yeshe's condition as "very very critical". with burns covering 98% of his body. Yeshe didn't appear to understand that he was in the hospital, Wangyal said.

Activists say India was detaining hundreds of Tibetans who protested on Monday. Legally, they can be held for up to a week.

Comments
  • Shirley - 2012-03-27 17:17

    Anybody with half a brain knowes the Delai Lama is a man of peace! You must realy believe in your cause to set yourself alight! I believe the Tibetians-look what they do to our rhino! Just more chinese propoganda!

      Shirley - 2012-03-27 17:18

      Should read:knows

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-27 17:41

      Well, maybe than I am someone with less than half a brain !!! I am far from a fan of the Chinese regime, but for me the Dalai-Lama is not a man of peace!! In EVERY SINGLE country he has visited, and even in the ones he could not, he has caused disunity and controversy. For me they should ban him to St Helena, and he can take along ,this other anti peace man, that criminal from the Vatican !!!

      Fidel - 2012-03-27 18:07

      Shirley, you should acquaint yourself with Tibet under the Lamas before China's reclamation of that country. Tibet under the Dalai Lamas was an awful place, physical bondage and slavery (watch an old Nat Geo documentary on YouTube). You seem to have gotten high on the kool aid being fed to you by western liberals and NGOs.

  • Jabu - 2012-03-27 17:33

    Dalai this dalai that. Mxm

  • Jabu - 2012-03-27 17:36

    Dalai this dalai that. Mxm

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