Dalai Lama Questions Wisdom of Self-immolations

Posted November 18th, 2011 at 7:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has questioned the wisdom of self-immolation as a means of fighting China's repression against Buddhist monks.

The Dalai Lama told the BBC in an interview Friday that such actions require a lot of courage, but have little effect because the Chinese respond harder. He said courage alone is no substitute and that Tibetans must use wisdom.

Eleven Tibetan monks and nuns have set themselves on fire since March in China's Sichuan province, protesting Chinese policies that Tibetans say brutally suppress Buddhism. Earlier this month, a Tibetan exile set himself on fire in Nepal's capital, Katmandu.

The Dalai Lama said he was not encouraging his followers to sacrifice themselves – as alleged by China.

He said the Tibetans are using the desperate measure because, as he put it, “they know while the West has backed the Arab Spring, with China it talks with a much quieter voice.”

China has condemned the self-immolation campaign as immoral and inhuman.