DHARAMSHALA, January 16: Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile, today rejected China’s allegations, linking the group to a self-immolation protest in Tibet, as “baseless and fallacious.”
Speaking to Phayul, TYC President, Tsewang Rigzin dismissed Beijing’s charges as “futile attempt” to defame the popular Tibetan organisation, and instead called on the Chinese leaders to pay heed to the demands of the self-immolators of freedom and return of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from exile.
“This is yet another futile attempt by the Chinese government through their mouthpiece Xinhua
to defame Tibetan Youth Congress,” President Rigzin, who is currently in south India on a talking tour said.
“Instead of hurling such baseless and fallacious allegation, the Chinese government should heed to the fiery cries of the Tibetan people inside Tibet demanding to reinstate our leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama in an Independent Tibet.”
China’s state news agency Xinhua
yesterday said Chinese police in Tsoe region of eastern Tibet have “apprehended seven people for their alleged roles in convincing” Sangay Gyatso, a local Tibetan villager to self-immolate.Sangay Gyatso, 27
, set himself on fire near the Dokar Monastery on October 6, 2012 shouting slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. He passed away at the site of his protest following which monks and local Tibetans carried his charred body inside the Monastery premises.
report cited a police statement as saying that the self-immolation protest was "masterminded by key members of the 'Tibetan Youth Congress' of the overseas Dalai clique" and also called Sangay Gyatso a ‘thief.’
President Rigzin “categorically rejected” the police statement and instead demanded that Beijing dismantle its illegal occupation of Tibet.
“TYC categorically rejects such baseless allegations by the Chinese government and demands the Chinese government to immediately work out a timeline to dismantle the illegal occupation of Tibet as demanded by the 96 Tibetan self-immolators,” Rigzin told Phayul.
Earlier, Chinese authorities in the region had tried to bribe Sangay Gyatso’s family members, offering them one million Chinese Yuan (US$158,599) to sign a document stating that his self-immolation was not targeted against China’s rule over Tibet. He is survived by his wife Dorjee Kyi and two children - a son, Dorjee Dhundup, 7 and a daughter, Tenzin Tso, 5.
Days after his self-immolation protest, Phayul had reported on the arrest
of four monks of the Dokar Monastery by Chinese police on charges of taking care of Sangay Gyatso’s body and taking pictures of his charred body.
The four arrested monks were identified as Jigme Gyatso, Kalsang Gyatso, Kunchok Gyatso, and Tashi Gyatso. Although Xinhua
in its report haven’t named all the seven arrested, but at least two of the given names match with the names of those arrested last October.
Last month, the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration challenged
Beijing to prove its allegations after 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.
Despite repeated international calls for restraint and reconsideration of its policies in Tibet, China has hardened its stance on the self-immolation protests and announced stricter measures including pressing of murder charges
against anyone caught aiding or inciting self-immolations and cash rewards
for those “exposing crimes” related to the protests.
China continues to cut off Tibet from the rest of the world even as international clamour over diplomatic access and visits by foreign media has grown in recent weeks. The United Nations, European Union, US, UK, and Canada have blamed China’s policies for exacerbating the situation in Tibet and urged Beijing to allow investigative visits to the region.
The Dalai Lama has repeatedly called for “serious investigation” in to the self-immolations and noted that the protests were a symptom of problems that Tibetans did not create.