Beijing: A state-run Chinese website has
launched a bitter attack on the Dalai Lama, accusing the
exiled Buddhist leader of "Nazi" racial policies and of
inciting Tibetans to set themselves on fire.
The commentary on China Tibet Online, also carried
Saturday by the official Xinhua News Agency, is one of the
strongest reactions from Beijing to a string of protests in
ethnic Tibetan areas of China.
About 30 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set
themselves on fire in the past year to protest what they say
are repressive government policies toward their religion and
culture. Many seek the return of the Dalai Lama.
The commentary follows other attacks by government
officials on the Dalai Lama, who has praised the courage of
those who engage in self-immolation and has attributed the
protests to what he calls China's "cultural genocide" in
Tibet. But he also says he does not encourage the protests,
noting they could invite an even harsher crackdown.
The website, set up in 2000 to present the government's
perspective on Tibet, accused the Dalai Lama of instigating
the self-immolations and advocating Nazi racial segregation
It said the Dalai Lama had encouraged people to
self-immolate because he called on Tibetans not to celebrate
Losar, the Tibetan New Year, in February to remember those who
have set themselves on fire.
There was no immediate comment from the Dalai Lama's
office in Dharmsala, India.
One activist group, London-based Free Tibet, released a
video on Friday of one of the most recent self-immolations,
showing the death earlier this month of Sonam Thargyal, a
44-year-old farmer who doused himself with kerosene before
setting himself on fire.
The Chinese website was critical of the Dalai Lama's
comments that government policies, which include increased use
of the Chinese language in Tibetan schools, were eroding
"The Dalai Lama still treats himself as the serf owner,
Tibet as his property and Tibetan people as his slaves," it
The government says it has substantially improved
lifestyles in minority areas through massive spending
programs, and that most Tibetans lived in feudal-like
conditions before the Dalai Lama fled to exile in India in
1959 during a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
It said the Dalai Lama's goal was to restore Tibetan
serfdom and divide China. The Dalai Lama has said his aim is
increased autonomy within China.
First Published: Saturday, March 24, 2012, 22:01