Self-immolations manipulated, legislators say


WASHINGTON, US, 22 June 2013

The recent self-immolations in Tibet were criminal acts premeditated, plotted and manipulated by overseas separatist forces, said Chinese Tibetan legislators on Thursday.

A delegation of Tibetan legislators from China’s National People’s Congress made these remarks while meeting with members of the United States Congress and experts of US think tanks during a two-day visit to Washington.

Padma Choling, chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Tibet autonomous region, led the NPC delegation to the US Capitol, and met Congressman Charles Boustany, co-chair of the bipartisan US-China Working Group in the House of Representatives, on Wednesday afternoon.

The delegation on Thursday met congressional researchers and staff as well as experts of the Brookings Institute, a US think tank.

Padma Choling lashed out at US comments that attributed recent self-immolations to intense relations among ethnic and religious groups in Tibet.

In Tibet, people enjoy freedom of all religious beliefs and this freedom is uncompromisingly safeguarded, Padma Choling said.

Acts as gruesome and inhumane as self-immolations run counter to the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism, and all true Buddhists have zero tolerance for such acts, he said.

The incidents also demonstrated the irresponsibility of self-immolators to themselves, their families and society as a whole, Padma Choling said.

“We stand firm against any act aimed at undermining Tibetan stability and national unity, especially when these acts are designed to obtain political purposes at the expense of human lives,” he said.

Padma Choling also updated the US lawmakers on the rapid economic development and overall advancement since Tibet’s peaceful liberation some 60 years ago.

Padma Choling said he is among the many Tibetans who have witnessed and benefited from the fundamental changes and remarkable growth in people’s living standards in Tibet.

All the Chinese people, including people from all ethnic groups in Tibet, are committed to realizing the “Chinese dream” and hence there remain great challenges for policymakers to further improve people’s living standards and people’s sense of happiness, he said.

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