China Blasts Dalai Lama Over Self-Immolations

Posted October 19th, 2011 at 6:25 am (UTC-5)
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China is accusing the Dalai Lama of encouraging the self-immolation of Buddhist monks, an action it describes as terrorism in disguise.

At a regular briefing Wednesday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu condemned the wave of immolations, which has seen nine Tibetan Buddhists burn themselves to death since March. The latest was a Buddhist nun who died of her injuries this week.

Jiang accused the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, of failing to criticize the actions. She said the spiritual leader has instead glorified the immolations, encouraging others to do the same.

Jiang said the cost of encouraging such activity is violence and terrorism in disguise.

The Dalai Lama has criticized self-immolation in the past, saying it violates Buddhist teaching on the sanctity of life.

On Wednesday, he fasted and led prayers in honor of the nine who have self-immolated. At least five died of their injuries and the condition of the other four is unknown.