By Vishal Gulati
Indo Asian News Service | IANS
Dharamsala, Feb 14: As cases of self-immolation to protest Beijing’s “repressive policies” reached 100, the Tibetan administration-in-exile Thursday appealed to the global community to engage China to redress the grievances of the Tibetans.
“We call on the national governments and international agencies, including the United Nations, to use their good offices and actively engage with China to stop the deteriorating situation in Tibet,” Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people, said here.
A Tibetan monk in early 20s reportedly set himself afire near a monastery in Kathmandu in Nepal Wednesday. He is said to be critical.
This was reported to be the 100th case of self-immolation. Except two self-immolations, all of them occurred in Tibet.
Sangay demanded that concrete steps need to be taken up by China to stop such extreme steps.
“Concrete steps the leaders of the world need to take up immediately are to send Navi Pillay of UNHCR to visit Tibet and investigate the real causes of self-immolations and convene a meeting to discuss and address the crisis in Tibet,” he said.
These steps, he said, would go a long way not only to encourage the Tibetans in their effort to embrace democracy and non-violence but also to be a catalyst for a moderate China.
The Central Tibetan Administration, based here, said 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since February 2009. The common cry of all self-immolators is the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
The CTA clarified that it was not encouraging self-immolations and asked China to send an investigation team here to prove their allegation.
“We have pledged full cooperation and unhindered access to our offices,” Sangay added.
China has blamed the Dalai Lama-led group of Tibetans of making “false charges” against the Chinese government and instigating its people to get global attention.
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this Himachal Pradesh hill town.