Tibetan Exiles Gather in Northern India for Meeting

Posted September 25th, 2012 at 7:50 am (UTC-5)
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Tibetan exiles from around the world are gathering in northern India for talks on ways to stem a wave of self-immolation protests as well as garner support for their cause.

Around 400 delegates are meeting in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala Tuesday for the Special General Meeting of Tibetans.

The four-day gathering began with a procession of attendees carrying in a portrait of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, who is seen as the spiritual leader for Tibetan Buddhists, is not attending the conference having retired from political life.

The meeting is expected to focus on the religious and political repression faced by those in Tibet, as well as ways to address the dozens of self-immolations over the last few years.

Beijing says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country. But representatives of the Dalai Lama say protesters are driven to self-immolate in large part because they can no longer tolerate Beijing's policies in Tibet.