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No locals committed self-immolations in Tibet: Top official

Last Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 16:07

Beijing: Playing down the impact of over 100 self-immolations in Tibet, a top Tibetan official on Sunday said no local residents, monks or nuns in the autonomous Himalayan region have taken part in suicide protests against Chinese rule.

No local residents in Tibet Autonomous Region have self-immolated so far, despite a string of similar incidents in neighbouring Tibetan-inhabited regions, said Padma Choling, deputy secretary of the Tibet committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"People in Tibet including monks and nuns deserve a happy life. They cherish life and love the society and the country," said Padma.

About 106 Tibetans committed self-immolations according to the overseas Tibetan groups.

Two self-immolations were reported from Lhasa itself but vast majority of them took place in Tibetan prefectures, which had a separate administrative status of their own.

Multiple deadly self-immolation cases have happened since 2011 in regions predominantly inhabited by Tibetans in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces.

The Chinese government has launched a crackdown tocontain the immolations by arresting a number of people including Buddhist Monks charging them with instigating the protests and blamed the Dalai Lama and the Dhamsala-based Tibetan government-in-exile for instigating the protests.

The Dalai Lama himself expressed hope that China`s new leader Xi Jinping, who succeeded Hu Jintao, would take initiatives to address the simmering situation in Tibet once he settled into power.

Xi is due to assume charge as President in the next few days when Hu steps down.
Choling said developing economy, improving people`s well-being, and building a sound education is key to overall development of Tibet.

It is "immoral and inhumane" for the Dalai Lama clique to instigate self-immolation, he said.

The Dalai clique`s attempt to fool the western media and social organisations, and exert pressure on the central government through instigating self-immolation is doomed to fail, he said.

First Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 16:06
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