The Dalai Lama is speaking out about the growing number of Tibetans setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said Monday China needs to conduct a "serious investigation" into the self-immolations rather than just place the blame on him.
The comments were first reported by Japan's Kyodo News Agency.
At least 70 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest since February of 2009, including seven just last week. Fifty-four have died.
Last week in Beijing, the Chinese-appointed vice governor of Tibet, Lobsang Gyaincain, blamed the Dalai Lama for the most recent protests.
"External Tibetan forces and the Dalai [Dalai Lama] clique are sacrificing other people's lives to attain their secret political motives," said Gyaincain.
The self-immolations and new protests - including several last Friday in Tibetan areas of China - coincide with China's 18th Party Congress in Beijing and the country's once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
China has long accused Tibetan exiles of self-immolating as part of a separatist struggle, denouncing them as terrorists.
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Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.