Dalai Lama “instigating” self immolation bids: Tibet official

Some of these immolation bids are planned by anti-social elements, some are led by people who have isolated life and do not understand matters of the world and society.

PTI

LHASA, Tibet, 14 May 2013

Tibetans are committing self-immolations at the instigation of Dalai Lama, a top [China] Tibetan official has alleged.

“Since March 2012, there have been some cases of self immolation of monks at the instigation of the Dalai Lama,” Tonga, Director general of Ethnic, Religious, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of the People’s Congress of “Tibet Autonomous Region”, told a group of visiting foreign journalists.

He, however, said that all these incidents have taken place outside Tibet.

“No local residents in ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’ have self-immolated so far. These incidents have taken place in neighbouring Tibetan-inhabited regions,” he said.

“We have utmost respect for the lives of people. This instigation is bad. The immolation cases only happened quite recently. These are planned and instigated,” he said.

According to Tonga, some of these immolation bids are planned by anti-social elements, some are led by people who have isolated life and do not understand matters of the world and society.

“Some are done by underprivileged people. I have gone through these cases and these are mainly because there is a conspiracy going on,” he claimed.

Over 100 Tibetans have committed self-immolations, according to the overseas Tibetan groups.

Multiple deadly self-immolation cases have happened since 2011 in regions predominantly inhabited by Tibetans in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

The Chinese government has launched a crackdown to contain the immolations by arresting a number of people including Buddhist monks charging them with instigating the protests, and blamed the Dalai Lama and the Dharamshala-based Tibetan government-in-exile for instigating the protests.

Tonga said that a number of efforts have been made to improve the lives of monks.

“There is hundred per cent coverage on pension and medicines for monks and nuns,” he said.

He also said that with support from the central government, Tibet has developed much.

“The annual increase in people’s income is 18 per cent. Last year, the GDP was 69.56 billion yuan,” he said.


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