Lama worried over spate of self-immolations

London: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday said he was worried about rising number of monks and nuns setting themselves on fire in China and declared he was not encouraging such actions.

Saying such self-immolation acts require courage, the Dalai Lama however questioned how effective these were as means of protest.

In his first comment on the recent spate of 11 cases of self-immolations so far this year witnessed in Southern China, most of which have led to deaths, the 76-year-old Buddhist monk told BBC, "This is very strong courage. But how much effect?"

But he counselled that courage alone is no substitute. "You must utilise your wisdom. Asked whether he feared the actions could make life worse for people in Tibet, he replied, "Many Tibetan sacrifice their lives."

"Nobody knows how many people killed and tortured….I mean deaths through torture. Nobody knows. But a lot of people suffer. But how much effect? The Chinese respond harder."