'Self-immolations part of Dalai Lama's plan'

Self-immolations by monks were part of the scheme of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama's plan to internationalise the Tibet issue, a Tibetan legislator has said.

In a symposium held Tuesday at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies (BICCS) here, Qiangba Puncog, a Tibetan lawmaker, said more than 20 people had died in self-immolations since March 2011. The Tibetan lawmaker noted there are more than 3,500 monasteries and 140,000 monks and nuns in Tibet and other Tibetan-populated regions, but none of the self-immolation incidents took place within the Tibet region.

'Any one with reason could tell whether they (the self-immolations) were the result of a lack of religious freedom in the Tibet Autonomous Region, or that of a political scheme to internationalise the Tibet issue,' he said. Qiangba Puncog said self-immolations run against the Tibetan tradition and Buddhist teachings, adding that [the Dalai Lama clique] is responsible for the losses of lives. 'The future of Tibet is in the hands of us Tibetans,' he said.  

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.
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