Tibetan self-immolations applauded by Dalai Lama

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CPPCC press conference

A series of self-immolations of Tibetan monks were applauded by the Dalai Lama, Zhao Qizheng, spokesman for the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said Friday. [Special report: CPPCC press conference]

Before those unfortunate incidents took place, there were people who forecast the time and places. Some people brought video cameras to film the incidents, and some of them even tried to prevent the rescue efforts, Zhao told reporters at a press conference.

"According to what I have heard, he publicly applauded the courage of these people who set fire to themselves," Zhao added, referring to the Dalai Lama.

A string of self-immolations broke out in Tibetan areas in the provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai bordering Tibet in recent months. And at least two mob attacks on police offices were reported in Sichuan's volatile Tibetan areas in late January, leaving at least two people dead and more than a dozen injured.

Zhao said committing suicide, which is a disrespect for life, is not a wise thing to do.

He asked relevant people not to take extreme actions to express their attitudes.

"It is important to avoid being misled," Zhao said. "If you lose your life because of extreme actions, it will be too late to regret it."

The Tibetan Autonomous Region has recently taken steps to improve the living conditions and environment for local monks to practice Buddhism. Efforts have also been made to provide roads, water, electricity and cultural services for them.


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