China not 'serious' about self-immolations: Dalai Lama

China not 'serious' about self-immolations: Dalai Lama

China not 'serious' about self-immolations: Dalai Lama

Updated 12 November 2012, 17:05 AEDT

The Dalai Lama has said China's government is not "seriously" probing the cause of a spate of self-immolations by Tibetans.

Tibet's leader-in-exile made the comments to reporters in Okinawa, Japan, the last leg of a 12-day visit to the country.

"The Chinese government should investigate the cause (of the incidents)," he said.

"China does not look into it seriously and tries to end (the incidents) only by criticising me."

Seven Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the last week, including an 18-year-old man who died after setting himself on fire in front of a monastery in northwest China.

A growing number of Tibetans, including young monks, have turned to self-immolation to protest against Chinese rule.

The most recent deaths coincide with the Communist Party's Congress where policy makers are deciding on China's new leaders for the next decade.

The Dalai Lama's comments are thought to be the first on the issue since the Congress began in Beijing last week.

On the sidelines of the congress on Friday, officials from the Tibetan Communist Party angrily denounced the Dalai Lama and overseas Tibetan "separatists" for orchestrating the immolations to breed unrest.

"The Dalai Lama clique and overseas Tibetan separatists have been sacrificing other people's lives for their own secret political aims," said Losang Gyaltsen, vice-chairman of the Tibet region's government.