DHARAMSHALA, March 12: The exile Tibetan administration has categorically rejected recent allegations by a senior communist party leader in Tibet of His Holiness the Dalai Lama financially encouraging self-immolations in Tibet.
“The Central Tibetan Administration would like to categorically reject the baseless allegations made by Padma Choling, chairman of the standing committee of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Regional people’s congress, that they have evidence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama providing money to encourage people to set themselves on fire,” CTA said in a release Monday.
Padma Choling made the allegations on the sidelines of the ongoing National People’s Congress in Beijing without providing any evidence. When asked about the nature of the evidence, Choling merely told reporters: “We have evidence, but it is not convenient to tell you now.”
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, blamed China’s continued occupation and repression for the self-immolations and renewed his invitation to Chinese authorities to visit Dharamshala and prove their allegations.
“The blame and solution lies squarely with Beijing. Occupation and repression are the cause and reform is the solution. If the blame game continues and unless independent fact-finding delegations and the international media are not allowed to visit Tibet to assess the real situation in Tibet, the international community, including the Chinese people, will view the Chinese government with deep skepticism.” Sikyong Sangay said in the release.
“At the same time, we once again invite the Chinese authorities to Dharamshala to prove their allegations of our alleged role in the self-immolation.”
Since 2009, as many as 107 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire protesting China’s rule and demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
Chinese authorities have responded with a string of heavy security measures, criminalising the protests and passing down harsh sentences to family members and associates of the self-immolators.
The exile Tibetan administration has consistently discouraged self-immolations and any other forms of drastic actions.
“Time has come for the international community to press the Chinese government to enter into dialogue to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet,” CTA said in the release.