Self-immolations against Buddhist preaching, says Tibetan spiritual leader
Tibetan spiritual leader and claimant to the title of the 17th Karmapa Lama, Trinley Thaye Dorje has said that self-immolation was against Buddhist practice and urged for a stop to such modes of protest by his compatriots.
Dorje, who was at the Buddhist pilgrimage centre of Bodh Gaya yesterday, described the recent instances of self-immolation as 'saddening'.
"I have been saying this for the past few days that it is a very saddening fact to come across. It is very difficult to digest, and I really wish that it could be stopped, because it is going very much against the practice of Buddhism. Therefore, I offer my prayers and thoughts that this must stop," he said.
Dorje further said that more than the tangible demand for political freedom, it was important that Tibetans focus on spiritually strengthening themselves.
"Political independence, these are from a mundane perspective. As far as I know from a practitioner's point of view, such things are always subjective to change. Whatever we have today, tomorrow it might be gone. Whatever we do not have tomorrow, we might get it back. So, it is endless," he said.
There have been 95 burnings in all to protest Chinese rule since 2009, according to the Tibet-government-in-exile. At least 77 people have died from their injuries.
Recently, the United Nation's human rights officials called on China to allow independent human rights monitors to visit Tibet and address deep-rooted frustrations.
China has barred foreign journalists from Tibet and prevented many others from travelling to surrounding Tibetan regions, making independent verification difficult.