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China: Dalai Lama encourages suicide, says paper

Communist newspaper says the Buddhist leader has benefited from Tibet's spate of self-immolations.
China dalai lama 2012 01 11Enlarge
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama visits the Mahabodhi Temple on his way back after the conclusion of the Kalachakra Festival in Bodhgaya on January 11, 2012. Kalachakra 2012, a festival of teachings and meditations will take place from January 1, 2012 for ten days in the northern Indian state of Bihar and will be attended by Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking of suicide as a bargaining tool, China's nationalistic Global Times newspaper is accusing the Dalai Lama of that very thing.

In an editorial on Wednesday, the newspaper scolded the Tibetan spiritual leader over the latest spate of self-immolations in the Tibet region.

Last weekend, three more people reportedly set themselves on fire in Tibetan areas of China to protest Chinese rule of Tibet. Those three deaths are only the latest in a series of protests by fire across the Tibetan plateau since late last year.

More from GlobalPost: What compels a Buddhist nun to burn herself alive?

The Global Times, often known for its vitriolic opinion pieces, heaps scorn upon the Dalai Lama, referring to "the Dalai group," and unsubtle reference to Chinese government assertions that hostile foreign forces aligned with the Dalai Lama are behind all unrest in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama hasn't set foot in China in decades, but he remains a polarizing figure for official China.

"The Dalai group has become an interest group outside China. They are exiles, but they need to survive. Therefore, they sell themselves to the West to help against China. If they only prayed and delivered sermons in foreign countries, their lives would be much worse," the newspaper wrote.

"The selfishness and ruthlessness of the Dalai group are carefully packaged by the West. The so-called 'Tibetan independence' or 'high degree of autonomy' that the Dalai group is pursuing are unreachable. They know this very well. But what they really care about is not the results but the slogans to help the West interfere in China's domestic affairs. The slogans also helped the Dalai Lama win the Nobel Peace Prize and gain considerable sums of financial support from the West."

Related: Body of self-immolated Tibetan monk "publicly paraded" in China

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