Dr Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of the Tibetan government in exile, has accused China of sham trials. On Feb. 1, 2013, the Tibet Sun has reported, Tibetan leader accuses China of sham trials. The political leader of the Tibetan exiles has accused China of holding sham trials in which eight Tibetans were found guilty of inciting others to set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule.
Dr Sangay has said that the convictions, which have been reported by China’s state-run news agency, were unfortunate because “repression is the cause” of the self-immolations. According to overseas Tibetan rights groups, about 100 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire since 2009 in protest of China’s repressive rule, with more than 80 of them dying from their burns. The Xinhua News Agency has reported that a court in the southwestern province of Sichuan has sentenced a Tibetan man to death with a two-year reprieve and has given his nephew a 10-year prison sentence for encouraging eight people to self-immolate last year, three of whom have died. Both of these men were charged with murder.
Sangay attended a prayer meeting of nearly 1,000 Tibetans in the Indian capital of New Delhi, on Friday, with a large banner in the background reading, “Why do Tibetans burn themselves?” Sangay has commented that it was unfortunate that the Chinese government had resorted to “sham” trials which had “no basis or legal process.” Sangay has also said, “Now they are given long sentences, including suspended death sentences. These are very unfortunate trends because repression is the cause of self-immolation.” As a way of conveying condolences and solidarity to all those Tibetans inside Tibet, Dr Sangay has asked Tibetans around the world not to celebrate the Lunar New Year this month out of respect for those who have died from the self-immolations.