Monday, August 15, 2011

Tibetan Monk Immolation

Tibetan monk sets himself on fire in China

A Tibetan monk has set himself alight in China's Sichuan province, amid claims of a crackdown on monasteries in the region.
Western-based activists said the monk, who they named as Tsewang Norbu, had died from his injuries.
A similar action sparked weeks of confrontation earlier this year in another town in Sichuan.
Unrest is fuelled by a widespread belief that the government wants to suppress Tibetan culture.
The argument has been going on for decades, with many Tibetans accusing the government of forcing monks to attend re-education camps, encouraging the migration of Han Chinese to Tibetan areas, and crushing any sign of dissent.
But the authorities say they have brought relative wealth and prosperity to a region that was a rural backwater.
The UK-based Free Tibet movement said the 29-year-old monk had doused himself with petrol and set himself alight at the Nyitso Monastery in Dawu town.
The group said he had been calling out "we Tibetan people want freedom", "long live the Dalai Lama" and "let the Dalai Lama Return to Tibet".
Most Tibetan monks are loyal to the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader who has lived in exile in India for decades.
The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted local government officials confirming that a monk had set himself alight, but gave no details of his condition.
In March, a monk set light to himself in Aba, about 100 miles (150km) from the latest incident.
Local people accused the authorities of locking down that monastery and carting off monks to be re-educated.
The UN later said up to 300 monks may have been illegally detained.

China has denied the accusations.

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