Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay (Phayul file photo)
DHARAMSHALA, November 9: The exile Tibetan administration has condemned China’s allegations that the Tibetan leadership is behind the ongoing wave of self-immolation protests in Tibet.
“The blame and solution for the present tragedy in Tibet lies entirely with Beijing,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, said Thursday. “We welcome representatives of the Chinese government as well as that of any independent international body to investigate these allegations by visiting our offices in Dharamshala, India.”
“We firmly believe that an end to repression will effectively end the cycle self-immolation,” Dr Sangay added.
China has repeatedly blamed the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetan administration for “inciting” the self-immolation protests in Tibet.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters last month that “the Dalai clique has incited some people to self-immolate in order to realise their goals.”
However, the Chinese government hasn’t till date offered any evidence linking the two.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi earlier this month, the Dalai Lama dismissed Chinese government’s accusations and invited a delegation to come to his exile hometown of Dharamshala and examine his conversations with the visitors.
"I am a free spokesman for the Tibet issue. I take orders from fellow Tibetans and do not direct them to any action," the Tibetan spiritual leader said.
The Dalai Lama further stated that China’s repressive policies and the unbearable situation in Tibet are forcing Tibetans to set themselves of fire in Tibet.
"The unbearable situation in Tibet is the cause for these unfortunate events. I am very sad about the turn of events. These are symptoms of fear, hard line suppressive policy practiced by China in Tibet. The time has come for China to think more realistically," reporters quoted the 77-year-old world leader as saying.
The Central Tibetan Administration, in the release, affirmed that the reasons for the self-immolations are self-evident: political repression, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation.
“Chinese leaders selected during the 18th Party Congress must recognise that China’s hardline policies in Tibet have utterly failed and only through dialogue can a peaceful and lasting solution be found,” CTA said.
In the last two days, six more Tibetans set themselves on fire across Tibet, taking the total number of self-immolations to 69 in Tibet since 2009.
The CTA has appealed to the 47-member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to convene a Special Session on Tibet in view of the “desperate and unprecedented spate of self-immolations by Tibetans due to China’s repressive policies and the continued intransigence of the Chinese leadership to the relentless efforts of UNHRC.”
The appeal came a day after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged China to “promptly address the longstanding grievances that have led to an alarming escalation in desperate forms of protest, including self-immolations, in Tibetan areas.”
Pillay said she was disturbed by "continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights," and urged China to allow independent and impartial monitors to visit and assess the actual conditions on the ground, and to lift restrictions on media access to the region, as a confidence-building measure.