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According to human rights advocates, Tibetans were angered by Chinese authorities’ distribution of a booklet that criticized the Tibetan language and attacked the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama. The Chinese have called the self-immolations “acts of stupidity.”

Earlier this month, the Dalai Lama called on Beijing to investigate the causes of the self-immolations.

He stated during a visit to Japan that the protest suicides reflected the desperation and frustration of Tibetans who are suffering under Chinese rule and from the lack of religious freedom.

“I always ask the Chinese government: Please, now, thoroughly investigate. What is the cause of these sort of sad things?” the spiritual leader told a group of Japanese politicians Nov. 13, according to reports from Japan.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, denounced the comments.

“The Dalai Lama is a political exile who has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities in the guise of religion,” he said.

“The Japanese government has been conniving with the separatist activities of the Dalai Lama and Japanese right-wing forces, which goes against the principle and spirit of China-Japan strategic relations of mutual benefit.”

Army warns about sex scams

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command this week warned against being taken in by online romance scams by “thugs claiming to be U.S. servicemen.”

Army special agents investigating the crimes said Internet users worldwide are being duped by the ruse. A statement by the CID said the offers are “promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.”

CID agents have received hundreds of reports from victims around the world who were taken in by criminals pretending to be U.S. soldiers deployed in Afghanistan or other locations.

“The victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with an American soldier, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away,” the command said in a statement.

“We cannot stress enough that people need to stop sending money to persons they meet on the Internet and claim to be in the U.S. military,” said Army spokesman Chris Grey.

“It is heartbreaking to hear these stories over and over again of people who have sent thousands of dollars to someone they have never met and sometimes have never even spoken to on the phone.”

Most of the swindles involve offers of romance perpetrated through social media and dating websites. They mainly target women.

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