DHARAMSHALA: The Central Tibetan Administration rejected allegations against His Holiness the Dalai Lama on self-immolations in Tibet showed in a documentary aired by China Central Television (CCTV), China’s official broadcaster.
Responding to a query from The Associated Press, Mr Tashi, spokesman of the Central Tibetan Administration, repudiated the allegations that His Holiness the Dalai Lama or the exiled Tibetans have been instigating the self-immolations. Instead, he said, Beijing’s policies are causing the protests.
“When the government stops this oppression inside Tibet, the self-immolations will stop. That’s what we hope and believe will happen. But it’s in their hands,” said Mr Tashi.
“The demands by the people who self-immolate are always the same. It is ‘We want freedom,’ and ‘We want the Dalai Lama to return.’ These are slogans used by all those who self-immolate,” said Mr Tashi. “We don’t incite them to do this.”
The Associated Press reported that the documentary was aired on CCTV’s English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian channels twice earlier this month as well as on CCTV-4, the international Chinese language station.
David Bandurski, a researcher with Hong Kong-based China Media Project, told AP that the Chinese government “want to kind of foist their message, a one-sided message, on the rest of the world.”
“If they want to be part of the conversation internationally and influence public opinion, they have to see themselves as part of a kind of dialogue, but they’re not really interested in that kind of dialogue,” Bandurski said.
Tsering Woeser, a Tibetan poet and activist based in Beijing, told AP that she saw the documentary on CCTV-4 when it aired at 2:20 a.m. on 7 May. She found it a disappointing elaboration on the hardline position the government has taken since it poured heavy security into Tibetan areas after a mass uprising against Chinese rule in 2008.
“I am saddened to realize by watching this film that there are no signs of self reflection coming from the authorities, and that they are still continuing with the vicious cycle of ignoring the signals of despair sent out repeatedly by Tibetans,” Woeser said.