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Tibetan leaders respond to China's allegations PDF Print E-mail
[10 November 2012] Tibetan leaders have hit back at allegations made by the Chinese government that the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exiled government are responsible for the self-immolations in Tibet. As well as dismissing the allegations, exiled leaders said that only an end to the repression in Tibet will stop the protests and self-immolations.

China's criticism I Dalai Lama's response I Sikyong's rebuke I exiled Parliament statement

China has repeatedly blamed the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government for inciting the self-immolation protests and has called for further efforts to "fight" against the Dalai Lama's influence in Tibet.

Jia QinlingOn 20 October, Jia Qinling (pictured right), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (Chinas top political advisory body) said that the Chinese government needed to exert a greater influence over the Tibetan people. Mr Jia called for greater development in China's ethnic Tibetan regions, as well as more efforts to fight the Dalai Lama clique, in order to ensure the regions' lasting stability. He also said Chinese political education and identity should be strengthened in Tibet.

On 24 October, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a press briefing, "To our knowledge most of the self-immolation cases in the Tibetan-inhabited regions are related to the instigation of the Dalai clique. In order to realise their separatist goals, the Dalai clique has incited some people to self-immolate. This is despicable and should be condemned."

Hong LeiMr Hong (pictured right) repeated the allegations on 5 November, whilst condeming the statement made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay which called on China to end the heavy security measures and suppression of human rights in Tibet.

The Chinese government spokesman said, "The Dalai clique has seriously beautified the illegal recent self immolations in Tibetan areas, which are extreme behavior in violation of religious (doctrine)." Mr Hong added, "The clique has talked black into white, passed the buck to the Chinese government, and made accusations about China's national and religious policies. Such despicable behavior with the sacrifice of other people's lives goes against human morals and conscience, and should be severely condemned."

Dalai Lama: Tibetans face "unbearable" situation
Dalai LamaOn 3 November, the Dalai Lama
(pictured right), responded to the Chinese government's allegations, saying, "I am a free spokesman for the Tibet issue. I take orders from fellow Tibetans and do not direct them to any action." The Dalai Lama to invited a Chinese government delegation to visit his home and offices in Dharamshala and examine his dialogues and meetings to try and prove the accusations.

He added, "The unbearable situation in Tibet is the cause for these unfortunate events. I am very sad about the turn of events. These are symptoms of fear, hard line suppressive policy practiced by China in Tibet. The time has come for China to think more realistically."

Sikyong: Stop the repression and self-immolations would stop"
Lobsang SangayOn 26 October, whilst on a visit to Italy, Sikyong (Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile) Lobsang Sangay
(pictured right) put the blame for the self-immolations squarely on the Chinese government. Stop the repression and self-immolation would stop," Dr Sangay said. "Political repression, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation in Tibet by the Chinese government are leading to self-immolations by the Tibetans.

On 8 November, the Sikyong reiterated his comments, The blame and solution for the present tragedy in Tibet lies entirely with Beijing," adding, We firmly believe that an end to repression will effectively end the cycle (of) self-immolation.

Dr Sangay also repeated the Dalai Lama's invite, We welcome representatives of the Chinese government as well as that of any independent international body to investigate these allegations by visiting our offices in Dharamsala, India.

Tibetan Parliament in exile: China must allow freedoms
Tibetan government in exile logoThe Tibetan Parliament in exile added its voice, calling on the Chinese government to re-open talks with the exiled government and to investigate the causes of the self-immolations.

In a press release issued on 8 November, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, Penpa Tsering, said, We urge the imminent new Chinese leadership to... revive the channels of meaningful contacts to resolve the long-standing issue of Tibet... We urge the 18th Congress to seriously deliberate on the continuing spate of self-immolations in Tibet, conduct a thorough investigation into the underlying causes and develop corrective policies and measures that meets the aspiration of the Tibetan people."

The statement also called on the Chinese government "to usher in a conducive atmosphere for our people to freely practice and promote our religion, culture and language. It also appealed to the National Congress to provide amnesty and release all Tibetan political prisoners to foster positive policy transformation in Tibet.

Further reading:
Phayul - 20 Oct I 3 Nov I 7 Nov I 9 Nov
AFP (24 Oct) I CTA (27 Oct) I Reuters (5 Nov) I* (6 Nov) I CTA (8 Nov)
(* is a portal run under the auspices of the Chinese government)

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