Teen monks set themselves on fire

2011-09-26 15:23
Beijing - Two teenage Tibetan Buddhist monks set fire to themselves in southwestern China's Sichuan province on Monday after calling for religious freedom and the return of the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibetan rights groups reported.

One of the monks, from the Kirti monastery in Sichuan's Aba county, was believed to have died while the other suffered critical burns, the India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and London-based Free Tibet said.

The monks called for religious freedom and shouted "long live the Dalai Lama" before they set fire to themselves, the groups quoted witnesses as saying.

Monday's self-immolation followed the deaths of two monks in similar protests at Kirti monastery in March and the nearby Nyatso monastery in August.

Rights groups said another monk from Kirti set himself alight in February 2009 to protest authorities' restrictions on celebrating a Tibetan Buddhist prayer festival.

The Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's highest spiritual leader, has lived in exile since he fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet.

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