OPINION / OBSERVER
Tibetan separatists use self-immolations for political ends
Published: Mar 07, 2016 12:33 AM Updated: Mar 07, 2016 09:32 AM

A 16-year-old Tibetan student, Dorjee Tsering, set himself ablaze and died later last week in Dehradun, India. Almost the same time saw an 18-year-old young Tibetan monk, Kalsang Wangdu, who also self-immolated and died in Sichuan Province.

Both cases were soon spread by Tibetan separatist groups, and picked up by Western media. It's common to see self-immolation cases hyped in March as part of the agenda by Tibetan separatists.

Facts have revealed that the Dalai Lama, misperceived as a peace-loving monk in the West, planned the Lhasa riot on March 14, 2008 that killed 18 innocent people.

Over 100 self-immolation attempts by Tibetans in China since then, most of which killed young monks, were proved to have been masterminded and instigated by the so-called "spiritual leader" and his followers. Their stereotype is to incite self-immolations, make an issue of them and solicit international support through media and political figures.

One day after Tsering set himself on fire, pictures featuring Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, holding up a black-and-white photo of Tsering and speaking with the president of the Tibetan National Congress, an advocacy group, were spread on Twitter.

Encouraging suicide is by no means part of Tibetan Buddhism. If the Dalai Lama is a true religious dignitary, he shouldn't have meddled in politics. Regrettably, the fact is that he has never shied away from politics.

The "middle way" approach that the Dalai Lama group trumpets in fact aims at setting up a "state within a state" which denies the governance of the central government over Tibet. However, the past 60-plus years have witnessed the Tibetan people living an increasingly abundant life on the road they chose.

The region, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, has become prosperous and enjoyed ethnic unity after the toppling of the feudal serfdom under theocratic rule.

At the ongoing two sessions, most delegates from Tibet present at the conferences wore pins with a Chinese flag and the busts of five Chinese leaders from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, which they said is a spontaneous act to show gratitude to the leadership.

Kalsang Zhoigar, one of the delegates, told reporters that Tibet lifted 100,000 people out of poverty in 2015, and that the Tibetan people have benefited most from the country's poverty alleviation funds.

Self-immolation is only conducted by a slim number of extremists who are used by separatists. Any attempt to split the country is not only doomed to fail, it is also not the desire of the majority of Tibetan people.


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