Dalai Lama under fire

Often seen as the world’s biggest goody goody, the Dalai Lama has been accused by chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region People’s Congress (TAR) Chadma Poling of paying Tibetans in areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai in China’s south-west to set themselves on fire to stick it to the Chinese government.  While Brushduck has no proof of the truth or otherwise of the these allegations, Chadma Poling has!  But he says that disclosure is not convenient.

Artist's reconstruction

Artist’s reconstruction – seems unlikely?

Further, the state-run Chinese website China Tibet Online revealed last week that Lhamo Kyab, referred to as a senior member of the “Dalai Lama clique’s education system”, has authored a “Self-immolation Guide” which aims to aims to “standardize and systematize the self-immolation behavior so as to manipulate it like an assembly line in the future”, in order to promote the Dalai Lama goals, which it says include protest against Chinese rule.  

The Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala has, unsurprisingly, distanced itself from both Lhamo Kyab and his guide.  However, the Dalia Lama has been criticised in the past for failing to denounce incidents of self-immolation.

The tragedy remains that since 27 February 2009, when a young Tibetan monk called Tapey attempted self-immolation in a marketplace in Sichuan, it is estimated that 78 Tibetans have burned themselves to death on account of their discontent with Chinese rule.   The frequency of incidents peaked between March 2011 and March 2012, following the death of Phuntsog, again in Sichuan.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Dalai Lama under fire

  1. Do you think the Dalai Lama is truly behind the concept of setting oneself on fire? Or do you think this is a new “fundamentalist” group that is emerging?

    • Robespierre

      Hi Thumbalina

      Thanks for your comment. My (albeit uninformed) view is that the most active encouragement may be from others purporting to speak in the Dalai Lama’s name. However, the Dalai Lama himself certainly does not seem to discourage the actions in this interview:

      What do you think?

  2. That’s a great video, I haven’t seen this interview before! the entire situation seems very strange. My first instinct that these are radical/fundamental groups that are speaking on his behalf, but he does seem to be advocating for freedom. If you have ever read his books, it seems like this kind of behavior is everything he has taught against….. in his interview he talks about hate and frustration that his monks are experiencing, but we know that strong feelings only cause more suffering. I’m not very familiar with the Dharma, so i probably should read it to get a better insight of the situation. At the end he almost sounds like William Wallace from Braveheart, when his one word for everyone is “Freedom”…. It’s sad for sure.

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