Germany Urges China, Dalai Lama to Stop Self-Immolations

Posted October 21st, 2011 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Germany has urged China and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to help stop self-immolations by Buddhists protesting Chinese religious policies in Tibetan-populated areas of the country.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday China should change its policies regarding Tibet to reduce tensions. He also urged the Dalai Lama to use his influence to stop monks and nuns from killing themselves.

Nine Tibetan Buddhists have set themselves on fire this year, mostly in the southwestern province of Sichuan, to protest what they consider China's religious repression. The latest victim, a nun, was the first woman among the nine to die of self-immolation.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of encouraging self-immolations by glorifying the actions instead of condemning them. The Dalai Lama has discouraged the practice, saying it violates Buddhist teaching on the sanctity of life.

The United States has repeatedly called on Beijing to protect the rights of China's minorities and Tibet's unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.

On Thursday, China said it will take measures to ensure the stability of heavily Tibetan parts of the country, in response to the self-immolations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said China opposes ethnic separatism and will make every effort to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.