Tibet support groups ask China to look into self−immolations

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 15:40 hrs

Dharamsala, Nov 19 (IANS) A special meeting of the Tibet support groups from about 40 countries Monday called on the new Chinese leadership to urgently address the root causes of self−immolations in Tibet.

"We express deep anguish that Tibetans feel compelled to self−immolate as an act of political resistance. We resolutely stand in solidarity with their aspirations for freedom and for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland," said a resolution passed by the support groups here.

The support groups blamed the Chinese for the crisis and their failed Tibet policies over the last 60 years.

"We call on China's new leaders to urgently address the root causes of these self−immolations," the resolution said.

About 200 delegates participated in the three−day meeting that concluded Sunday.

It was called by the Tibetan government−in−exile to explore ways to develop strategic campaigns to address the deteriorating situation in Tibet where, it claims, at least 75 Tibetans have committed self−immolation since 2009.

"We call specifically on general secretary Xi Jinping and the new politburo standing committee to take immediate steps to resolve these and all legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people recognising that a peaceful resolution is in the best interests of both the Tibetan and the Chinese people," it said.

Expressing concern over the forced removal of nomadic communities from Tibet, the groups said: "Social and economic exclusion are contributing factors in the escalation of self−immolation and therefore must be urgently addressed."

The Tibet support groups asked their home governments to initiate coordinated action, including at the United Nations and in other international and regional fora, to bring pressure upon the government of China to change its policies in Tibet.

Addressing the participants on the second of the meeting, the Dalai Lama said: "Things are quite serious in Tibet. There is a problem and the problem is neither good for the Tibetans nor the Chinese. Use of force will never bring a satisfactory solution to the problem."

The Central Tibetan Administration has already clarified that the Dalai Lama has always discouraged drastic action and the Tibetan cabinet−in−exile has made repeated appeals to refrain from extreme measures.

China has denounced the Dalai Lama as the "ringleader of the conspiracy of Free Tibet".

The Dalai Lama was forced to flee his homeland with 80,000 Tibetans March 17, 1959, after the Chinese invasion of Lhasa, Tibet.

His Tibetan government−in−exile, that never won recognition from any country, is based here.

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