2 Tibetans Die in Self-Immolation

Posted November 18th, 2012 at 7:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Rights activists say a 24-year-old Tibetan man has died after setting himself on fire to protest Chinese rule in his homeland.

Hours earlier on Saturday, a cab driver and mother of two died after setting herself afire, the latest death in a wave of self-immolations to protest Chinese rule.

Several sources tell VOA's Tibetan Language Service that Sangdhak Tsering set himself ablaze outside a local Chinese government office in Dokarmo Township in eastern Tibet.

The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said Sunday that cab driver Chagmo Kyi set herself on fire in Tongren county in western China's Qinghai province. The group said after the death, monks and others gathered amid a heavy security presence at a cremation site normally reserved for cremation of monks and lamas.

Tibetan sources have reported 75 self-immolation protests in Tibetan regions of China since 2009, with 60 cases known to have resulted in death.

Many Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of repressing their religion and culture. China says Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and benefit from better living standards linked to Chinese investment in underdeveloped Tibetan regions.

Beijing has accused exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations to promote Tibetan separatism. Speaking on a visit to Japan Monday, the Dalai Lama said China must conduct a “serious investigation” into the self-immolations rather than placing the blame on him.