'Dalai Lama glorifying suicides, sullying China's image'
Responding to the Dalai Lama's recent statement in Japan where he blamed the recent suicides by Tibetan monks on the Chinese policy of cultural genocide, Chinese Foreign Ministry, spokesperson Hong Lei said such statements that "glorify" suicides will only incite more people.
"Dalai Lama has always been using his visits to other countries to sell his position of Tibet independence and sully the image of Chinese government as well as playing up Tibet related issues," Hong told a media briefing.
A wave of self-immolation bids have been witnessed in China in protest against the Chinese policy in the region recently. A 35-year-old nun set herself on fire last week in southwestern Sichuan province, bringing to 11 the number of monks and nuns who have turned to self-immolation in recent months.
"The sad incidents (suicides by nine Buddhist monks and two nuns in recent months) happened due to desperate sort of situation," the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying during his recent visit to Japan.
"Including many Chinese mainland (people) who visit Tibet, they all have terrible impression that thing are terrible... some kind of cultural genocide is taking place," he said.
Hong charged that by glorifying suicides, the Dalai Lama is inciting more people to take this path.
"After self-immolation cases in Sichuan and Tibetan areas, the Dalai group did not condemn such extreme behaviour. On the contrary they glorify and play them to incite more people to follow suite. This is challenging human conscience and moral bottom line," he said.