Source: Xinhua | 2013-2-8 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
POLICE are holding 70 suspects in northwest China's Qinghai Province in connection with a string of self-immolations since November.
Lyu Benqian, deputy chief of Qinghai's Public Security Department, said 12 had been officially arrested over the self-immolation cases in Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
The Dalai Lama clique masterminded and incited the self-immolations, said Lyu. Personal information, such as photos of the victims, were sent overseas to promote the self-immolations, he said.
"Some of the victims were frustrated and pessimistic in life, and they wanted to earn respect by self-immolation," Lyu.
"Meanwhile, a few individuals with a strong sense of extreme nationalism showed sympathy with the self-immolators and followed their example," he added.
Self-immolations in neighboring Sichuan and Gansu provinces encouraged more self-immolators, he added.
Jinpa, a monk at the Rongwo Monastery in Tongren County for 10 years, set himself alight and died on November 8.
He had resumed secular life after falling in love, but later discovered the woman was a prostitute and left her, according to his friend Jigme Tenzin.
Jigme said the night before his death, the two were watching a Tibetan-language TV program about self-immolations.
Kyihe Monkyi, a 26-year-old divorced woman, died on November 17, in Rongwo township in Tongren.
She had attended Jinpa's funeral, expressing sympathy for self-immolators and calling them heroes.
On November 15, Tamzin Zhoima, a 23-year-old villager from another township in Tongren, set herself ablaze. A week later her father tried to send money to the Dalai Lama, police said.
Phagpa, a young Tibetan in Dowa Town of Tongren, had attended the funerals of six self-immolators, police said, offering donations for their families and worked to spread ideas related to separatism and "Tibetan independence."
Phagpa attempted to incite a 24-year-old monk, Drolma Je, to self-immolate, but the monk's plans were discovered and he was prevented from doing so by his relatives.
Phagpa has been charged with murder and the monk with endangering public security.