The recent incidents when some young Tibetan monks set themselves on fire in Sichuan Province have caused a stir, despite the local governments reacting promptly to extinguish the fire and send the injured to the hospital. The social order remains stable and people from both secular and religious groups condemned the activities.
All the victims are avid believers of the Dalai Lama's separatist thoughts. As the public is still mourning their deaths, the Dalai clique was busy shaping the story the victims died for "Tibet Independence." In less than an hour after the incidents, pictures of the scenes and the victims were widely distributed by the Dalai Lama group
With the aim to support the victims, the Dalai Lama hosted a special fasting session on October 19 in India's Dharamsala. At the ceremony, also making an appearance was the head of the separatist government who encouraged Tibetan people to pay homage for the dead and organize demonstrations against the Chinese government. The separatist government also made a brief visit to the US, asking for support.
In the same spirit, various Tibetan separatist groups made public announcements in support of the immolators' decisions and some even set aside allowances for the relatives of the self-immolators to steal into India to visit the Dalai Lama.
The separatist government claims that it "fully respects the immolators' decision to kill themselves," and calls for more people to donate their lives for the independence of Tibet.
Except for a couple of religious denominations, most belief systems advocate the value of life, the non-violence approach, which includes the concept of anti-suicide. Buddhism ethics make it explicit to advise people to refrain from taking life (including one's own). As a spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama is in full support of self-immolation, which is no difference than advocating taking life. This is downright alarming and borderline terrorist behavior.
So it has been pointed out by advocates of other religious organizations that admittedly, when a religious denomination starts in full favor of suicide, it is a clear sign that it runs too far from the original doctrine. Some Western media found it hard to sit indifferent towards the atrocious handling of this by the Dalai clique. On October 19, a commentary piece in the Guardian articulated this point: Self-immolation is against the ethical practice of Buddhism; the stance the Dalai Lama's takes risks damaging his decades of effort of non-violence.
However, it is not hard to see the motives of the ultra-active interference by Dalai clique on the incidents. For one, all the publicity is intended to interfere with the fast economic growth in regions with Tibetans like Tibet and Sichuan, to destroy the balance of trading and infrastructure advancement in the region.
Recent years have seen the marginalization of the Tibet issue in the world. International society attaches more importance to their relations with China. Under such a climate, the "Free-Tibet" movement becomes inopportune. The strong and controversial reactions from the Dalai clique on the self-immolation issue, in a way, helped with publicity.
And thirdly, it is Dalai Lama's wishful thinking that publicity would get him back to negotiations with Beijing, as to "prevent such incidents from happening we need to work together with Beijing to resume the dialogue on extreme-autonomy of the region".
To sum up, the effort of the Dalai Lama is by no means a show of his power and influence, quite the contrary, but a demonstration of his desperation and fragility.