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Exiled Tibetans in Dharamshala express solidarity with self-immolators

Dharamsala , Thu, 18 Apr 2013 ANI

Dharamsala, April 18 (ANI): Exiled Tibetans living in Dharamshala held a candle light vigil to express solidarity with Tibetans who have self immolated themselves in protest against repressive Chinese rule in Tibet.

An activist of Tibetan Youth Congress, Tenzin Tsundue, blamed Beijing for its apathy towards Tibetan nomads, farmers, monks and nuns.

"Yesterday, another Tibetan has self immolated and died in Tibet. A young mother at the age of 20 leaving behind a three-year old child self immolated in Tibet in Zamthang region of eastern Tibet ; and she passed away and this makes 115 cases of self-immolation up to today and yet the Chinese government instead of listening to aspirations of Tibetans they are clamping down violently on the Tibetan nomads, farmers, monks and nuns," said Tsundue.

More than 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule since 2009 across a large swathe of ethnically Tibetan regions, with most of them dying from their injuries.

According to the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), one more case of self-immolation in Tibet has been reported, which has raised the death count to 115.

In the past few months, the government has been detaining and jailing people who are suspected to have incited the burnings.

The latest detentions have taken place in Gansu's neighbouring state of Qinghai, where police last week detained 70 "criminal suspects", 12 of whom were formally arrested, meaning they will be charged.

The government has also seized television sets in Tibetan areas to prevent people from watching "anti-China" programmes broadcast from abroad.

China has also stepped up propaganda efforts aimed at the outside world, heaping blame on exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and overseas Tibetan groups for fomenting the self-immolations.

Beijing considers Nobel peace laureate the Dalai Lama, who fled from China in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.

He has said he is not encouraging the self-immolations, but has called them "understandable".

China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying the remote region suffered from dire poverty, brutal exploitation and economic stagnation until 1950, when Communist troops "peacefully liberated" it.

Tibetan areas in China have been largely closed to foreign reporters and put under heavy security, making an independent assessment of the situation there hard. (ANI)

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