Dharamsala, March 26 (IANS) On a day a Tibetan protester attempted self-immolation in New Delhi, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Monday once again clarified that Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama is 'neither encouraging self-immolations in Tibet nor advocating expulsion of Han Chinese from Tibet'.
'We deplore the usual blame tactics utilised by the Chinese government,' said a CTA statement here.
It said the Nobel laureate has always discouraged drastic actions and the Tibetan cabinet has made repeated appeals to refrain from extreme measures.
'Despite His Holiness the Dalai Lama's long-standing view concerning such actions and the CTA's appeals, Tibetans continue to self-immolate because of China's continued occupation and harsh measures against Tibetans.'
According to the CTA, a total of 17 people have reportedly killed themselves this year in Tibet to protest 'Beijing's repressive policies and demand the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland'.
A spokesperson for the CTA said the spiritual leader has always promoted harmony between the Chinese and Tibetan communities. 'He has repeatedly stated that the Tibetan struggle is not against Chinese people or China as a nation,' spokesperson Tashi said.
A Tibetan protester set himself ablaze at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi Monday during a demonstration by around 100 Tibetans against Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India.
Jamphel Yeshi, a resident of North Delhi's Majnu Ka Tila, set himself on fire as various speakers were addressing the crowd. He suffered 90 percent burn injuries and is in critical condition in hospital, police said.
Yeshi's self-immolation attempt comes after a string of self-immolations that has broken out in Tibetan areas in the provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai bordering Tibet in recent months.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.
India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.
China has denounced the Dalai Lama as the 'ringleader of the conspiracy of Free Tibet'.
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