Activists: Tibetan Dies After Self-immolation

Posted December 9th, 2011 at 9:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Tibetan groups in exile say a former Buddhist monk has died several days after setting himself on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.

Activists said Friday that Tenzin Phuntsog died of his burns in a hospital in Tibet on December 6. Chinese officials have not confirmed his death.

Rights groups said Tenzin Phuntsog had set himself on fire on December 1 near the Karma monastery in Tibet's Chamdo area. The rights groups say he had been scattering leaflets criticizing Beijing and shouting anti-China slogans just before he set himself on fire. Chinese police put out the flames and took him to hospital.

Ten former or current monks and two nuns have set themselves on fire in ethnically Tibetan parts of southwest China this year to protest religious repression. Many were from the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province.

Tibetan rights groups say Tibetans set themselves on fire as a result of increased desperation at Chinese repression.

China has denounced the self-immolations and is accusing Tibetan exiles of encouraging them. The government says Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and that the state is investing in developing their areas.

In India, where many Tibetans live in exile, protesters gathered outside a hotel in New Delhi where China and India held defense talks demanding freedom for Tibet.