Another monk self-immolates in China

2012-03-13 14:26
Beijing - A young Tibetan died after self-immolating in south-western China's Sichuan province, reports said on Tuesday, following at least two dozen similar protests in recent months.

The 18-year-old Buddhist monk, identified by the single name Gepey, set fire to himself near a military compound Saturday in Sichuan's Aba town, known as Ngaba in Tibetan, the London-based Free Tibet said.

"He died on the spot, and Chinese military personnel immediately took his body inside the building," US-based Radio Free Asia quoted Lobsang Yeshe, an exiled monk with contacts in Aba, as saying.

The self-immolation took place on the 53rd anniversary of the Dalai Lama's flight into exile following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. It was the 27th reported in Tibetan areas of China in the past three years and the 14th this year.

"We are now witnessing a pattern of Tibetans setting themselves on fire in front of buildings which symbolise China's current crackdown in Tibet," Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden said.

No space for protest

Lobsang Sangay, head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said on Saturday that Tibetan areas were "under undeclared martial law".

"Today, there is no space for conventional protests such as hunger strikes, demonstrations and even peaceful gatherings in Tibet," Sangay said.

The Chinese government has tightened security in most Tibetan areas this year amid a series of protests and self-immolations.

It has accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of encouraging self-immolations and other protests.

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