China blames Dalai Lama for self-immolations in Tibet



Beijing: China Wednesday blamed the Dalai Lama for the spate of self-immolations taking place in Tibet against Chinese rule, saying they were "instigated" by the exiled spiritual leader's clique.

"To our knowledge most of the self-immolation cases are closely instigated by Dalai group", Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei told reporters here, while replying to questions on over 50 self-immolations, many of them by monks and nuns, in the recent months in different parts of Tibetan areas calling for the return of Dalai Lama from exile in India.

"The Dalai group is trying to achieve its political schemes through instigating some Tibetans to self-immolate. Such behaviors are despicable", Lei said.

Refuting reports about Tibetans complaining of poverty, he said, "Tibet is in a period of rapid development. It has realised economic development and social harmony as well as enhancing living standards of the people. We firmly oppose the separatist activities of the Tibet independence forces", he said.

China had last year accused the Dalai Lama of instigating the burnings as a form of "terrorism in disguise".

The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner had countered the argument calling China's rule of Tibet "a kind of cultural genocide" that was driving Tibetans to acts of desperation.

PTI