Exiled Tibetan government appeals for end to self-immolations

China Featured Politics South East Asia - January 28th, 2013

The exiled government of Tibet has appealed to its people to stop setting themselves on fire following a surge of the fiery protests against China’s rule over the region.

Tibetans were urged to mourn the dead by cancelling celebrations for Losar, the Tibetan new year, on February 11, and not to take undertake drastic actions, said a statement from Lobsang Sangay, political leader, issued by the office of the spiritual leader Dalai Lama, reports the Financial Times.

“Kindly pray for all who have sacrificed their lives and for all who continue to suffer in occupied Tibet,” said Mr. Sangay in a statement.

“The universal demands of the Tibetans have been the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans”, he said, promising further international efforts to lobby peacefully for the Tibetan cause.

Mr. Sangay also called on China to allow free access for the media and foreign observers to Tibet.

“The responsibility as well as the solution for the current crisis in Tibet lies with the Chinese government”.

Self-immolation, as a form of protest, has become rampant in Tibet since 2010 with nearly 100 Tibetans, mostly young, have set themselves alight.

In 2012, alone, 83 Tibetans committed suicide by the setting themselves on fire and three more died in January, according to the Central Tibetan Administration.

 The Chinese government blames the Dalai Lama for inciting the self-immolations and has crackdown on such protests, AFP reports.