One Dead After Two Tibetans Self-Immolate

Posted August 7th, 2012 at 3:45 pm (UTC-5)
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A London-based human rights group says two more Tibetans have self-immolated in southwestern China, and at least one of them has died.

Britain-based Free Tibet says a woman named Dolkar Kyi died at Tso Monastery in Gansu province Tuesday after setting herself on fire.

Free Tibet also says a 21-year-old monk from Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province set himself alight Monday but is believed to have survived. The monk, identified as Lobsang Tsultrim, was reported to have been taken away by authorities and his current condition and location are unknown. Free Tibet says Tsultrim was beaten by Chinese forces in 2008 for taking part in anti-government demonstrations.

Tibetans have long accused Beijing of eroding their culture by flooding Tibetan regions with Han Chinese. Beijing has said Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and higher living standards that result from China's economic development.

Stephanie Brigden, director of Free Tibet, says the nearly 50 self-immolations that have taken place in Tibet over the past three years are the acts of people growing increasingly frustrated with the Chinese government's dominance.

“Tibetans want change,” she says. “I think the fact that Tibetans are using self-immolation as a form of protest illustrates that there really is no other political recourse, legal, or other recourse that Tibetans can utilize, to be heard, either in Beijing or internationally.”