China has accused a two-time member of the Tibetan parliament in exile based in Dharamsala of authoring a “self-immolation guide” and organising the protests that have spread across Tibetan areas in China since 2011.
Sources in Dharamsala rejected the claims, saying the “guide” Chinese state media was referring to was, in fact, a book published only last year that detailed the protests and did not encourage them.
The official Xinhua news agency claimed a four-part “self-immolation guide” circulating on the Internet was “openly encouraging Tibetans within the Chinese border to carry out self-immolations according to the plan and procedures”.
The report added that the author was a former member of the Tibetan parliament in exile named “Lhamo Je”, who now held “an important position” in the education system of the Tibetan administration in Dharamsala. Xinhua described the guide as “reliable evidence” of the involvement of Dharamsala officials in orchestrating the more than 100 protests since 2011.
The report appeared to be referring to Lhamo Kyab, a former Tibetan MP who now resides in France.
It was not clear if the Xinhua report was only referring to Mr. Kyab’s website, which carried details of a book titled Iron-Hare Year’s Fiery Protest Against Repression published last year by a Tibetan group in India. The book also contained four parts: the timeline of
protests since 2009; the life stories of the protesters; the international community’s support for the movement; and the Tibetan administration in Dharamsala’s efforts to garner global support.
“The book”, said one source in Dharamsala, “has nothing to do with encouraging self-immolations.”
The timing of the Xinhua report — days ahead of the March 5 opening of the National People’s Congress, or Parliament — suggests the new leadership that will take control of the government following the Congress is likely to continue the earlier approach to the protests — blaming the Dalai Lama.
“The Chinese government will win the battle of the anti self-immolations,” the report said, “as long as it does not get illusion toward the Dalai clique, nor expects some Western forces to be kind, but keep the situation under control on the basis of our own works”.