China Blasts Dalai Lama's 'Separatist Ideals'

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Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama speaks to the faithful at a Kalachakra for World Peace in Washington July 6, 2011.

With China's 18th National Party Congress under way, China's government focus has been on the capital. However, the Dalai Lama urges that attention be given to investigations of recent self-immolations and protests in Tibet, openly commenting on China's inaction in the Japanese press.  

The Dalai Lama was quoted by Japanese news agency Kyodo News, claiming China has not done enough to look into the incidents.

The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism said "the Chinese government should investigate the cause [of the incidents]. China does not look into it seriously and tries to end only by criticizing me."

Unfortunately, self-immolation incidents are not uncommon among Tibetan protestors. Though definite numbers are difficult to find because of blocked media coverage in Tibet, the International Campaign for Tibet reports that 69 people have set themselves on fire since 2009 in protest of Chinese rule over Tibet . 

Last Saturday an 18-year-old Tibetan died after setting himself ablaze in Gansu province; this was the most recent of seven known self-immolations this week, the opening week of China's Party Congress. That latest immolation was likely the force behind the Dalai Lama's decision to comment on the events. 

The Dalai Lama, who began a 10-day trip to Japan on Nov. 4, was also quoted in a press conference in Yokohama, Japan, on the disputed islands in the South China Sea. He used the Japanese name, Senkaku Islands, rather than the Chinese name, Diaoyu Islands, which elicited a backlash from the Chinese government. 

State-run newspaper China Daily reported on Monday that a spokesperson publicly condemned the Dalai Lama in a press conference.

"The Dalai Lama's performance once again shows his true colors, betraying his motherland and engaging in activities to split China under the guise of religion," said Hong Lei.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is accused of conspiring with the Japanese in order to achieve the goal of freeing Tibet from Beijing's rule, and in turn undermining China. 

"In order to achieve his goal of splitting China, the Dalai Lama would rather collude with Japanese right-wing forces. His behaviors are despised by the Chinese people," Hong said. 

Hong continued to reiterate the standing Chinese position of strongly opposing that any country or individual meet with the Dalai Lama, providing him the means to promote Tibetan "separatist activities."

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