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Dalai Lama calls for investigation on causes of self-immolations PDF Print E-mail
[30 August 2012] In an interview published by Reuters yesterday, the Dalai Lama reiterated the need for the Chinese government to tackle the issues behind the self-immolations in Tibet. He also said he was hopeful that China's new president, to be appointed later this year, would be open to talks on the Tibet issue.

The Dalai LamaAsked about the self-immolation protests in Tibet, which now total 51 following the joint self-immolations of two cousins on 27 August, the Dalai Lama said, "I will not give encouragement to these acts, these drastic actions, but it is understandable and indeed very, very sad." He added, "Now the Chinese government, they should investigate what are the real causes."

Reuters also asked the Dalai Lama about China's upcoming leadership change and the potential effect on Tibet. The Dalai Lama said though it would take time before any shift in the new leadership's stance on Tibet became apparent, he remained hopeful saying there are "very encouraging signs". He also said, "If their side... for their own interest are thinking more realistically we are ready for full cooperation with them."

Note: Later this year China's Communist Party Congress are due to appoint the next party leader, who will then replace Hu Jintao as State President in 2013. Xi Jinping, currently Vice-President and member of the Politburo Standing Committee, is widely expected to be appointed as the new leader.

Further reading:
Reuters interview: Dalai Lama sees "encouraging signs" of shift in China (29 August) Background information on Xi Jinping is a website that provides information and analysis on China's political leaders, with special relevance to TIbet. Created by International Tibet Network, a global coalition of Tibet-related non-governmental organisations, of which Tibet Society is a member.

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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