BEIJING -- A state-run Chinese website has launched a bitter attack on the Dalai Lama, accusing the exiled Buddhist leader of "Nazi" racial policies and of inciting Tibetans to set themselves on fire.
The commentary on China Tibet Online is one of the strongest reactions from Beijing to a string of protests in ethnic Tibetan areas of China. About 30 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest what they say are repressive government policies. Many seek the Dalai Lama's return.
The commentary follows other attacks by government officials on the Dalai Lama, who has praised the courage of those who engage in self-immolation and has attributed the protests to what he calls China's "cultural genocide" in Tibet.
The website, set up in 2000 to present the government's perspective on Tibet, accused the Dalai Lama of instigating the self-immolations and advocating Nazi racial segregation ideas.
An official of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamsala, India, said the Dalai Lama has stated that he does not support self-immolation.
"We are concerned about China shifting the blame on the Dalai Lama, making him the scapegoat rather than correcting their own repressive policies," said Dicki Choyang, minister of the exile government's Department of Information and International Affairs.