Two more self-immolation bids in Tibet; China slams Dalai Lama
Beijing: Self-immolation protests continued in Tibet coinciding with the Communist Party Congress here as two Tibetans Monday died after setting themselves on fire in separate incidents in China's northwestern Qinghai province, the local government said.
The incidents took place in Tongren county in the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
With this the number of self-immolation incidents have gone up to eight in the past few days coinciding with the 18th Congress being held to select new set of leaders to rule China for the next decade.
Besides self-immolations rallies were held in some areas in Tibet protesting the Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama from his exile.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry today lashed at the Dalai Lama for backing Japan's claim to the disputed islands accusing him of colluding with right wing forces there to split the "motherland".
"The Dalai Lama's gummy performance once again shows his true colours of betraying his motherland and engaging in activities to split China under the guise of religion," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.
Hong made the comments in response to a question about the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's use of the Japanese name for an island chain claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo at a recent press conference in the Japanese city of Yokohama.
"In order to achieve his goal of splitting China, the Dalai Lama would rather collude with Japanese right-wing forces. His behaviour is despised by the Chinese people," Hong said.
He reiterated that China strongly opposes any country or individual providing platforms, in any form, for the Dalai Lama's separatist activities.
Hong said last Monday that China had lodged a solemn representation to Japan over the Dalai Lama's 10-day trip to Japan, starting November 4.
China in the recent past also launched a broadside against the Tibetan spiritual leader accusing him of instigating the escalating self immolation protests in Tibet against Chinese rule.
Top Tibetan officials attending the Congress here have been critical of the Dalai Lama as seven self immolation protests were reported in the past few days bringing bad publicity to the Party Congress, which currently underway to select new leaders to rule the country for next ten years.
China also expressed strong opposition to any UN monitors and slammed UN Rights panel for criticising the Chinese handling of protest in Tibet and the Tibetan prefectures.