Tibetan exiles from around the world have decided to boost efforts to gain global support for their struggle against China's rule over their homeland, and also urged their ethnic brethren in Tibet to stop giving up their lives in self-immolation protests.
The prime minister of Tibet's government-in-exile, addressing a meeting in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, called on the international community to resist growing pressure from China and stand up for human rights in his homeland.
Lobsang Sangay, who last year took over political duties from the Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, said that a spate of self-immolation protests were proof of severe Chinese repression in Tibet.
"Now I have more responsibilities, the Chinese government is raising pressure on the West," Sangay told 400 delegates from around the world who gathered for the meeting.
"We have to re-establish our strong contacts with these countries."
Dharmsala has been the headquarters of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, since he fled Tibet in 1950s.
Sangay said Tibetan exiles were determined to highlight that authoritarian Chinese rule was triggering the scores of fatal protests.
"We send a strong message to China that we will not tolerate these repressive policies," he said.
"We seek and need support from the international community to push China to stop oppression in Tibet."
Sangay also said the efforts to win international support would focus on getting more support in India because of its strategic location and its stake in the region's geopolitics.
Penpa Tsering, speaker of the Tibetan exile parliament, said Tibetans should not give up their lives, and instead work toward solving the Tibetan issue with China.
"We Tibetans have a small population and each life is precious," he said at the end of the meeting.
The self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile says 41 Tibetans have died from 51 attempts at self-immolation have been made since March 2009.
It considers them a sign of the suffering Tibetans feel under China's repressive policies. More