New Reports of Self-Immolation in Tibet

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New reports of self-immolation by Tibetan protesters came out just a few days into the New Year. London-based Tibetan activist group Free Tibet announced on Friday that two people set themselves on fire. One died, the other's condition and whereabouts are unknown.

[Dawa Tsering, President, Dalai Lama Religious Foundation]:
"The only thing the Chinese Communist Party has is violent means and a lot of troops. It forces Tibetans into submission through employing military force. So the Tibetans have no other choice but to protest by setting themselves on fire."

This puts the toll to 14 Tibetan people in the past year who have protested with self-immolation. At least six of them died.

[Dawa Tsering, President, Dalai Lama Religious Foundation]:
"If we take a look at the CCP's rule, Tibet is controlled in a very similar way as China during the Cultural Revolution. Most of the well-known monasteries are empty because the monks were forced to resume their secular life. They weren't allowed to stay there anymore."

The reports of self-immolation could not be confirmed with Beijing authorities. China's Foreign Ministry has labeled the self-immolators as terrorists and blames the Dalai Lama.

For his part, the Dalai Lama has not condemned or condoned the burnings. He accuses the Chinese regime of what amounts to quote "cultural genocide," which has lead to the self-immolations.

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