A Chinese official on Friday accused exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of providing money to encourage people to set themselves on fire, and said they had evidence to prove the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was instigating the self-immolations.
More than 100 Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest against Chinese rule since 2009, mostly in heavily Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces rather than in what China terms the Tibet Autonomous Region. Most have died.
“Self-immolation is fundamentally immoral and inhumane behavior,” Padma Choling, the Chinese appointed head of Tibet’s rubberstamp legislature, told reporters on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament.
“Instead of being against this, and putting a stop to this, they are encouraging it and using other means, such as giving financial compensation, to continue to instigate incidents like these. I think this is even less humane,” he said, referring to the Dalai Lama and other exiled Tibetans.
Beijing considers 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.”
Padma Choling said he had evidence to prove the Dalai Lama’s involvement, though he did not provide it.
“There is some evidence that is not convenient to disclose here,” he said.
China has tightened already strict controls in Tibet since the self-immolations began two years and has all but banned visits by foreign journalists.
Tibet’s new governor, Losang Gyaltsen, appointed in January, signalled there would be no let-up to the heavy security.
“We will always place maintaining stability as our top priority and keep up crackdowns on all secessionist forces and sabotage activities,” he said. “We cherish ethnic unity and stability as we cherish our own eyes.”
China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying the mountainous region suffered from dire poverty and brutal exploitation until 1950, when communist troops “peacefully liberated” it.
Tibet has also been a cause of considerable diplomatic friction, especially with the US, where meetings between the Dalai Lama and US presidents have infuriated China.
This week Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser was named an International Woman of Courage by US Secretary of State John Kerry, drawing a sharp rebuke from China.
“Woeser has frequently published articles distorting facts about Tibet that vilify China’s ethnic policies, incite ethnic separatist feelings and destroy China’s ethnic unity,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said at a daily news briefing.
“The United States giving this kind of person an award is the same as public support for her separatist speech, and clearly violates its frequent promises to recognize Tibet as part of China,” she said.
Woeser is banned from leaving China and has been under house arrest in Beijing for the past two days.
Female flight attendants working for Japan Airlines would next month be allowed to wear trousers and abandon high heels, the company said on Thursday, after a feminist campaign took off. The airline became one of the first major Japanese firms to announce the shift after a campaign known as #KuToo last year rejected mandatory high heels at work, drawing more than 32,000 signatures in an online petition. The campaign is part of a wider feminism movement in Japan, with Japan Airlines saying that the new policy was aimed at boosting a “diverse working environment.” PANTS PERMIT “This will be the first time to introduce
FATAL IDEA: The nation’s drugs regulator is curbing use of hydroxychloroquine, which Donald Trump has promoted for its alleged potential to treat COVID-19 Australia’s drug regulator has been forced to restrict powers to prescribe a drug undergoing clinical trials to treat COVID-19, because doctors have been inappropriately prescribing it to themselves and their family members, despite potentially deadly side effects. The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and the similar compound chloroquine are currently used mostly for patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but stocks in Australia have been diminished thanks to global publicity — including from US President Donald Trump — about the potential of the drug to treat COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have potentially severe and even deadly side effects if used inappropriately, including
PORNHUB: Campaigners warn that videos of serious crimes, such as rape, are being uploaded to the site, which has failed to ban or moderate illegal content British lawmakers and campaigners are calling for urgent action to stop videos of rape, revenge porn and child abuse being posted on Pornhub as traffic to the site booms amid a worldwide COVID-19 lockdown. Pornhub’s traffic is up a record 12 percent this month compared with last month, as millions of people across the world are told to stay in their homes. Pornhub owner Mindgeek has used the coronavirus lockdowns to promote its site, giving free Premium access to people living in isolation in Italy, Spain and France. The offer has led to a huge increase in visits to the site from affected
TARGETED: Although hackers are known to be seeking to capitalize on concern over COVID-19, a cybersecurity expert said he had never seen anything to this extent before Elite hackers tried to break into the WHO earlier this month, sources said, part of what a senior agency official said was a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks. The identity of the hackers was unclear and the effort was unsuccessful, WHO Chief Information Security Officer Flavio Aggio said. However, he warned that hacking attempts against the agency and its partners have soared as they battle to contain COVID-19, which has killed more than 15,000 worldwide. The attempted break-in at the WHO was first flagged to Reuters by Alexander Urbelis, a cybersecurity expert and attorney with the New York-based Blackstone Law Group,