70 Held In Crackdown Against Self-Immolation Protests In Tibet

BEIJING (TIP): Stepping up itscrackdown against self-immolation protestsin Tibet, China has detained 70 suspects fora string of suicides in November last year,coinciding with the once-in-a-decadeleadership change in China’s rulingCommunist Party.A total of 70 people have been detainedby the police in Huangnan of northwestChina’s Qinghai Province in connectionwith a string of self-immolations that haveoccurred since November 2012, state-runXinhua news agency quoted a senior policeofficer as saying today.

Lyu Benqian, deputy chief of theQinghai Provincial Public SecurityDepartment, said 12 of the suspects wereofficially arrested over the self-immolationcases in the Huangnan TibetanAutonomous Prefecture.The self-immolation cases wereinfluenced by the separatism of the DalaiLama clique, as the Dalai Lama has prayedfor self-immolators and Tibetan separatistsoverseas flaunt them as “heroes”, he said.

There was a big spurt in selfimmolationswith 23 such cases reported inNovember last year, the highest in onemonth apparently to coincide with the 18thParty Congress to elect a new leadership.About 95 to 100 Tibetans have so farcommitted suicide in the recent monthsprotesting Chinese rule in Tibet and callingfor the return of the Dalai Lama from exilein India.So far China has convicted sevenpersons, including a Buddhist monk, whowas given a two-year suspended deathsentence.

“Some of the victims (of self-immolation)were frustrated and pessimistic in life, andthey wanted to earn respect by selfimmolation,”Lyu said while analysing themotive for the action.Last night, China’s state-run televisionaired a documentary accusing theDharamsala-based Tibetan Youth Congress(TYC) of orchestrating the incidents.The half-an-hour documentary, second byCCTV, has also accused the Tibetan serviceof the Voice of America (VOA) of passingon coded messages to some of the contactsin Tibet at the instance of Dalai Lamasupporters.

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