DHARAMSHALA, December 20: Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet claim that they have arrested a Tibetan for attempting self-immolation and another for instigating the protest.
A news report by a state-run Tibetan language website on Tuesday said the two Tibetans were arrested from a hotel in Rongwo town of Malho, a region in eastern Tibet which has seen a surge in self-immolation protests in the recent past.
According to the report, Chinese security officials in Thunrin made the arrests on November 19 and confiscated a petrol container and cotton from the room. Names and personal details of the two Tibetans have not been divulged.
However, the report noted that the person arrested on charges of “instigating” the protest had escaped to exile in India in 2005 and returned in 2011.
It further claimed that the person, during his stay in India, was closely linked to the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile.
Chinese authorities have regularly blamed the exile Tibetan administration and the Dalai Lama for the spate of fiery protests.
Earlier this month, the Central Tibetan Administration challenged China
to prove their allegations after Chinese authorities detained a monk and his nephew and accused them of instigating self-immolations of eight Tibetans on the instructions of the Dalai Lama.
“If China genuinely wishes to end the self-immolations, instead of resorting to the blame game it should allow unfettered access to international bodies to Tibetan areas to investigate the root causes for these self-immolations,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people said.
Chinese authorities in Malho region last month announced
cash rewards for those “exposing crimes” related to the ongoing wave of self-immolations and issued an ultimatum warning those who have “committed fault” to turn themselves in.
Despite repeated international calls for restraint and reconsideration of its policies in Tibet, China this month hardened its stance on the self-immolation protests and announced that it will press murder charges
against anyone caught aiding or inciting self-immolations.
Since 2009, as many as 95 Tibetans have set themselves on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. The month of November, during which China held its 18th Party Congress, was the deadliest, since the wave began, with 28 self-immolation protests.
The United Nations, European Union and countries such as the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom have blamed China’s policies for exacerbating the situation in Tibet and urged Beijing to address the grievances of the Tibetan people.