Beijing: The Dalai Lama-led group of Tibetans "makes false charges" against the Chinese government and "incites young people to sacrifice their lives" for their so-called religious freedom, a state-run Chinese daily said Tuesday.
Since last year, there have been many cases of young Tibetans in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang regions of southwest Sichuan province dying after setting themselves on fire, the Global Times said in an editorial.
It said the media has revealed details of the cases and "shown to the public" that the plots were "hatched by the Dalai Lama group".
The daily said the the Dalai Lama group "deliberately creates an atmosphere of terror to attract the attention of the international community and chases its political purposes by using the lives of young people".
Even as some Tibetans in China accuse the government of eroding their culture and repressing their religion, the daily said that people can see "many cultural facilities and activities" and "public religious infrastructure projects" in Tibetan regions.
It said China knows the significance of respecting and protecting the right to religious freedom.
"Only when abrupt incidents take place and the situation threatens social stability, will the government take action," the daily said.
"The Dalai Lama group makes false charges against the Chinese government and incites young people to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their so-called religious freedom," the Global Times said.
It said that due to historical roots and religious doctrines, many ordinary monks, especially young people, worship the Dalai Lama.
"Some can easily be instigated and very seldom listen to other voices. They are innocent and in the prime of their lives, which makes their sacrifice so distressing," it said.
Self-immolation is against humanity and religious principles, and compassion and "ahimsa" are the core values of Buddhism.
In Buddhism, "the act of inciting suicide and providing conditions for suicidal behaviour is a grave sin".
"If, as the Dalai Lama claims, Tibetans are living in misery, could those self-immolation cases give people there a better life?" the daily asked.
Alleging that some followers of the Dalai Lama "believe that self-immolation is the highest non-violent form of expressing resentment against government rule", the daily said self-immolations "brings fear to others and causes social panic".