China says Dalai Lama pushing extreme views
Chinese officials visiting New Delhi to attend a summit of emerging nations today blamed the Dalai Lama for a Tibetan protester burning himself to death in the city. No smoke without fire | Like a butter lamp in the winddelhi Updated: Mar 29, 2012 21:38 IST
Chinese officials visiting New Delhi to attend a summit of emerging nations on Thursday blamed the Dalai Lama for a Tibetan protester burning himself to death in the city.
Jamphel Yeshi died on the eve of the summit after setting himself alight on Monday during demonstrations among India's large community of Tibetan exiles against Chinese rule of their homeland.
Hundreds of Tibetans were detained before the meeting of the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, while many others complained of being placed under virtual house arrest to prevent anti-China protests.
"The Dalai Lama and so-called pro-independence elements are trying to push extreme and radical views and are glorifying extreme positions," Luo Zhaohui, director general of China's department of Asian Affairs told reporters.
"The Chinese appreciate the concrete and effective measures implemented by the Indian government in overcoming the disruption," he said, adding that China was "regretful" of the loss of innocent life.
Yeshi, 27, doused his clothes with fuel, lit himself and ran screaming down a road in central Delhi as his body was engulfed in flames on Monday. He died two days later in hospital.
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, has lived in north India for decades after escaping from China. Beijing accuses him of seeking independence for Tibet and inciting violence in his homeland.
Yeshi was the first self-immolation victim outside China since a spate of similar protests inside the country began last March.
Huge security arrangements prevented Tibetan protests in Delhi on Thursday, though 10 people unfurled a Tibetan flag near the five-star hotel where Chinese President Hu Jintao was attending the one-day summit.
They were detained by police, along with about a dozen others who tried to protest at the Chinese embassy.
A national daily reported that Yeshi, who fled China in 2006, left a letter before his fatal protest calling for the world to stand up to China.
Chinese President Hu joined Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders from the other BRICS nations for talks focused on opening a development bank and lobbying collectively to grab a greater say in world affairs.
The Dalai Lama has repeatedly denied encouraging self-immolation and says he wants autonomy for Tibet, not independence.
First Published: Mar 29, 2012 18:44 IST