Xinjiang, Tibet dominate discourse in Chinese Communist meet
From K J M Varma
Beijing, Nov 9 (PTI) The tense situation in ethnic minority Xinjiang and Tibet, where China has deployed large security forces to stem the tide of protests, took centrestage at the ruling Communist Party''s once-in-a-decade leadership Congress today.
The unrest in the two provinces came up prominently for discussion with officials attacking the Dalai Lama over a spate of self-immolations, accusing him of plotting the "murders" to achieve "ulterior" political goals.
Chinese officials hit out at the Dalai Lama, accusing him of plotting the self-immolations that peaked with six Tibetans setting themselves on fire during the last few days coinciding with the week-long Congress.
Meanwhile, the top official of Xinjiang, where native Uygur Muslims have been uneasy over Han settlements, said a few "terrorist incidents" will not change the overall situation of stability in the region, but fight against separatism will be "long-term, complicated and fierce."
"The three evil forces of separatism, extremism and terrorism are unwilling to see a prosperous, united and stable Xinjiang and use every possible method to sabotage the social stability," Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), said on the sidelines of the Congress.
He said authorities in Xinjiang will continue to take forceful measures to crack down on ''terrorist activities'' and have the ability and resolve to guarantee "a stable Xinjiang".
On the other hand, Losang Gyaltsen, vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region said at the Congress sidelines that inciting people to kill themselves is a criminal behaviour and constitutes the "crime of murder".
He said some of the self-immolations were masterminded and instigated by overseas secessionists and the "Tibet independence" forces, who had "glorified" the victims by calling them "heroes."
"Life is precious. Sacrificing people''s lives to achieve ulterior political goals goes against the conscience and morality of human being, and should be strongly condemned," Xihua quoted him as saying.
Qiangba Puncog, also a Party delegate and chairman of the Standing Committee of the People''s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said overseas forces used and sacrificed monks to magnify the effect.
"We are very sad for that. Killing or using others to commit killing is prohibited in Tibetan Buddhism," he said.
Li Changping, also a delegate to the CPC congress and a Tibetan official from southwest China''s Sichuan Province, said, "It is the 14th Dalai Lama that should answer your question about the reason of the self-immolations, because he is the plotter of those incidents."
About 69 Tibetan so far have set themselves on fire protesting Chinese rule and calling for return of the Dalai Lama from exile.