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2 More Self-Immolation Bids, China Slams Dalai Lama

Self-immolation protests continued in Tibet coinciding with the Communist Party Congress here as two Tibetans today died after setting themselves on fire in separate incidents in China's northwestern Qinghai province, the local government said.

The incidents took place in Tongren county in the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

With this the number of self-immolation incidents have gone up to eight in the past few days coinciding with the 18th Congress being held to select new set of leaders to rule China for the next decade.

Besides self-immolations rallies were held in some areas in Tibet protesting the Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama from his exile.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry today lashed at the Dalai Lama for backing Japan's claim to the disputed islands accusing him of colluding with right wing forces there to split the "motherland".

"The Dalai Lama's gummy performance once again shows his true colours of betraying his motherland and engaging in activities to split China under the guise of religion," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

Hong made the comments in response to a question about the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's use of the Japanese name for an island chain claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo at a recent press conference in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

"In order to achieve his goal of splitting China, the Dalai Lama would rather collude with Japanese right-wing forces. His behaviour is despised by the Chinese people," Hong said.

He reiterated that China strongly opposes any country or individual providing platforms, in any form, for the Dalai Lama's separatist activities.

In the seventh round less demand for spectrum was seen in most of the circles, except in Bihar where bids were received for all 8 blocks put up for auction.

The last round of the day saw demand for 7 blocks in Assam, 6 blocks each in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha,West Bengal and North East.

Maharashtra telecom service area received bid for 5 blocks. Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata and Tamil Nadu circle received bids for half of the 8 blocks of spectrum available for bidding.

Uttar Pradesh (E), Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab received bids for only one block. Earlier demand was seen for 10 blocks in UP (W), 9 blocks in UP (E) 7 blocks in Assam.

Telecom experts are of the view that the auction price may not meet revenue target set by government and even adversely impact revenue target of Rs 31,000 crore set by it from one-time spectrum for excess spectrum held by telecom operators.

"The government may have to face issues regarding market discovery of price regarding excess spectrum that operators hold specially in circles where there were no bids and issues regarding the governments overall revenue generation target wherein there is a large gap to bridge," Protiviti Consulting's Country Managing Director Mritunjay Kapur said.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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