[Buddha-l] China "detains" 70 in Tibetan region
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Thu Feb 7 09:00:16 MST 2013
Latest, from Reuters, via NYT
February 7, 2013
China Detains 70 in Crackdown on Tibetan Burnings
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have detained 70 people in a
crackdown on self-immolations in ethnic Tibetan regions, state media said on
Thursday, the largest single reported sweep of suspects to date as the
government tries to stop the unrest.
Nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese
rule since 2009 across a large swathe of ethnically Tibetan regions, with
most of them dying from their injuries.
In the past few months, the government has begun a new tactic to discourage
the protests, detaining and jailing people it deems to have incited the
The latest detentions took place in the northwestern province of Qinghai,
where police detained 70 "criminal suspects", 12 of whom were formally
arrested, meaning they will be charged, the official Xinhua news agency
"Police will exert more efforts to thoroughly investigate the cases and
seriously punish those who incite innocent people to commit
self-immolation," it quoted Lu Benqian, Qinghai's deputy police chief, as
China has repeatedly denounced exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama and overseas Tibetan groups for fomenting the self-immolations.
"The Dalai Lama clique masterminded and incited the self-immolations," Lu
said. "Personal information, such as photos of the victims, were sent
overseas to promote the self-immolations."
"A few individuals with a strong sense of extreme nationalism showed
sympathy with the self-immolators and followed their example," Lu said.
"The self-immolation cases were influenced by the separatism of the Dalai
Lama clique, as the Dalai Lama has prayed for self-immolators and Tibetan
separatists overseas flaunt them as 'heroes'."
Beijing considers Nobel peace laureate the Dalai Lama, who fled from China
in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a violent
separatist. The Dalai Lama says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for
his Himalayan homeland.
He has called on China to investigate the self-immolations. He has said he
is not encouraging them but has called them "understandable".
China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying the remote region
suffered from dire poverty, brutal exploitation and economic stagnation
until 1950, when Communist troops "peacefully liberated" it.
Tibetan areas in China have been largely closed to foreign reporters, making
an independent assessment of the situation there hard.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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