Teen Tibetan monk self-immolates

2012-02-14 14:02

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Beijing - A teenage Tibetan monk has set fire to himself in a restive town in south-western China, while around 200 Tibetans protested in another town, reports said on Tuesday.

Lobsang Gyatso, aged 19, set fire to himself on Monday in Aba town, or Ngaba in Tibetan, London-based Free Tibet said.

Police put out the flames and took away Lobsang, who was a monk at nearby Kirti monastery. It was not known if he survived the self-immolation, the group said.

His protest was the 24th self-immolation reported in Tibetan areas of China in the past two years, most of them in or near Aba.

It came on the same day that the Chinese government confirmed the death of a 19-year-old nun who self-immolated in Aba on Saturday.

Meanwhile, around 200 Tibetans protested in the main square of Yushu town, or Jyekundo, in Qinghai province on Saturday, followed by a smaller protest on Sunday, Free Tibet said.

6 dead

In another development, a state-run newspaper in Sichuan's Ganzi prefecture has confirmed earlier reports by Tibetan exiles that police shot dead two fugitive Tibetans who had fled after violence in Luhuo town, or Drango, last month.

At least six other Tibetans died in clashes with security forces in Luhuo and the nearby Seda area of Sichuan's Ganzi prefecture last month, according to reports by Tibetan exile groups, international rights groups and US-based Radio Free Asia.

The reports suggested growing tension in several Tibetan areas, with Free Tibet saying police were searching people at checkpoints around Aba on Monday.

It quoted sources in Yushu as saying paramilitary police there were also restricting the movement of local residents, with some people confined to their homes and others banned from leaving the town.

About 100 Free Tibet activists protested outside the White House in Washington on Monday before the arrival of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.

Several activists unfurled a giant banner on the Arlington Memorial Bridge in the city to protest the visit by Xi, who is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    china  |  tibet
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