Addressing members of the international press in New Delhi, Dr Lobsang Sagay said he is disappointed that dozens of self-immolations by Tibetans have not received the same world attention as the similar suicide of a Tunisian man that sparked the Arab Spring, The Associated Press reported.
He said immolations are drastic actions taken by people prevented from carrying out other forms of protest against China's rule over Tibet. About 50 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the past two years. Only nine have survived.
"Ignoring us or not supporting us might send a message to other marginalized groups around the world that perhaps it is not worth investing in democracy and non-violence," Kalon Tripa was quoted as saying by AP.
He urged other countries to pay attention to the plight of his people.
Kalon Tripa said he was seeking autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution and would remain committed to a dialogue with China. But a lot would depend on "the composition of the new leadership" once the government in Beijing changes at a party congress expected in October, he added.
China spends billions of dollars on spectacles such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics to impress the world, but allowing the return to Tibet of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, would do more than all China's other efforts, he said.