Official: Tibet immolations were instigated

Updated: 2012-03-03 07:56

By Cui Jia (China Daily)

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BEIJING - It's painful to see self-immolation in recent years in places that ethnic Tibetans inhabit, said a spokesman for the Fifth Session of the 11th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

Such acts go against Buddhist teachings, Zhao Qizheng, the spokesman, said during a news conference on Friday.

A series of self-immolations have occurred in recent years in various places where Tibetans live. Many of those who set fire to themselves were young, some being only 18 years old, he said.

Zhao said the acts were instigated.

"Someone would announce when an act of self-immolation was to occur even before it was committed," Zhao said. "A camera would be there and the video would be quickly uploaded online. And no one would be allowed to rescue the protester."

"He (the Dalai Lama) is two-faced if he told you that he discourages self-immolation," Zhao said. "At least, that's not what I've heard. I encourage people to treasure their lives and not to be deluded."

In Sichuan province, most of those who recently set fire to themselves were about 20 years old, and the youngest person to die from self-immolation was only 16, the provincial information office said in January.

To improve the living standards of monks and nuns in the Tibet autonomous region, authorities have built roads to monasteries and worked to provide basic water and electrical services, he said.

The Dalai Lama's clique is vainly trying to foment incidents in Tibet and places inhabited by Tibetans, including Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, Jia Qinglin, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said on Thursday.

He said officials should take measures to prevent the Dalai Lama and his clique from carrying out their plans to make Tibetan-inhabited areas unstable. Doing so, he said, will allow the masses to live and work there comfortably

In late January, rioting and attacks against police and public property in Luhuo and Ceda counties in Southwest China's Sichuan province left two rioters dead and 24 police officers and firemen injured.

Evidence showed that the riots and assaults were planned beforehand and instigated by trained separatists, according to the Sichuan government's information office.

Jia said officials should be deployed to visit people at the grassroots, to gain a better understanding of the masses' ideas and promote feelings of trust and benevolence toward local units of the CPC and the government.

Religious figures who love the country should be asked to help promote social harmony and stability, he said, adding that more will be done to provide basic public services to monasteries and monks.

Speaking of paintings of current and previous Party leaders that were given out to local residents earlier this year, Zhao said they were souvenirs marking the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet, which was observed in 2011.

"There is nothing to be criticized," he said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.