Tibetan 'exile-govt' called two-faced

Updated: 2013-03-06 07:06

By China Daily (China Daily)

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Tibetan 'exile-govt' called two-faced

A senior official of the Tibet autonomous region said the "Tibetan government-in-exile" in Dharamsala, India, is two-faced because it claims to discourage self-immolation but actually fans extremism in China.

"What is the use of them calling on Tibetans to stop self-immolations but instigating people to do so at the same time?" Padma Choling, chairman of the standing committee of the Tibet autonomous regional people's congress, or the regional legislature, told China Daily exclusively on Tuesday.

Padma Choling said the "government-in-exile" is not doing what it said, but is using self-immolators as tools to split China.

"I learned that it is mobilizing and orchestrating mass group self-immolations. What does that mean?"

"The international community has started to become concerned about the problem of self-immolations," he said.

A series of self-immolations began in 2011 in regions inhabited by the Tibetan ethnic group in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces. Police and courts found cases showing the "government-in-exile" and the "Tibetan Youth Congress" are behind the instigation of extremism.

However, the "government-in-exile" is attempting to deny its role and blames China for the tragedies.

Though the "government-in-exile" continues to "repeatedly appeal to the Tibetans in Tibet to refrain from such drastic acts, sadly, the self-immolations continue," the "government-in-exile" said in a statement on Feb 14.

More recently, on Feb 26, a chief leader of the "government", said in the Canadian Parliament that his stand on self-immolation is the same as that of the 14th Dalai Lama, who has always "discouraged drastic actions by Tibetans".

Contradictorily, the chief leader of the "government-in-exile" also said Tibetans are bound by duty to honor the sacrifices.

"And as a Tibetan, we support the aspiration of the Tibetan people inside Tibet, including the self-immolators," the chief leader said in Canada on Feb 26.

"Once a protest takes place, it becomes our sacred duty to support it," he recalled saying when he became head of the "government-in-exile" in Dharamsala on Aug 8, 2011.

"I take the same stand on self-immolations," he was quoted as saying by the Huffington Post.

Padma Choling said he learned the international community has raised concerns over the self-immolations.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Feb 15 called on "those who are immolating, or those who might be considering this, to think hard about whether it's the best way to express yourself".

US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said on Friday: "We urge Tibetans to end self-immolations."

A report in The New York Times said: "A quiet debate has been under way among Tibetans who are anguished over the deaths of the young men and who question how the acts reconcile with Buddhist teachings."

Padma Choling said the government of the autonomous region will work harder to improve people's lives and educate them to cherish life.

He added there are no local residents, monks or nuns in the autonomous region who have self-immolated so far, and the local administration is "not facing any pressure".

(China Daily 03/06/2013 page8)