Tibetans meet to discuss self immolations

Tibetans meet to discuss self immolations

More than 400 members of the Tibetan diaspora gathered here Tuesday for a four-day meeting to discuss the increasing instances of self immolations by activists, a Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) official said.

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who stepped down from diplomacy and active politics last year, will not be attending the session. More than 400 members of Tibetan diaspora are participating in the second special general meeting that is being presided over by Tibetan political leader (earlier called prime minister-in-exile) Lobsang Sangay, Tashi, secretary of CTA's department of information and international relations, told IANS.

He said the agenda of the four-day meeting included problems within Tibet and new campaigns to be carried out in Tibet. Fifty-one people have reportedly killed themselves since 2009 to protest against Beijing's "repressive policies" and demand the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to his homeland.

The delegates participating in the meeting comprise members and former members of the Tibetan cabinet and parliament, heads of schools of Buddhism and NGOs and volunteers from across the globe, especially Nepal, Bhutan and the US, as also from Europe.

The first special general meeting was held here in November 2008 after the riots that erupted in Lhasa had spread to other areas of western China. The Dalai Lama has lived in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against the communist rule. The government-in-exile is based here but is not recognised by any country.

Some 140,000 Tibetans live in exile around the world, over 100,000 of them in India.