Tibetan burns himself in China

2012-10-27 22:41
A man has set himself on fire in China. (Freetibet.org, AP)

A man has set himself on fire in China. (Freetibet.org, AP)

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Beijing - Another Tibetan man has died after setting himself on fire in northwest China, state media and rights groups said, in the fifth self-immolation in the region in less than a week.

The man, identified by Xinhua news agency as a 22-year-old villager, set himself on fire late on Friday, hours after another villager Lhamo Tseten, also in his 20s, burned himself to death. Both incidents happened in Xiahu, a county in western China's Gansu province known as Sangchu in Tibetan.

The villager "died after setting himself on fire", Xinhua said, adding that local authorities were "handling the incidents".

Rights groups Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet also said a second self-immolation had taken place on Friday, and identified the man as Tsewang Kyabalso.

The self-immolations follow that of another Tibetan man, Dorje Rinchen, who set fire to himself near a military camp in the region on Tuesday. Two other Tibetan men have self-immolated in the area since Saturday.

Nearly 60 ethnic Tibetans, many of them monks and nuns, have set themselves on fire in China since February 2009 to protest against Beijing's rule in Tibet.

Previous self-immolation incidents have occurred in the more western province of Sichuan.

Many Tibetans in China accuse the government of enacting religious repression and eroding their culture, as the country's majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas.

China rejects this, saying Tibetans enjoy religious freedom. Beijing points to huge ongoing investment it says has brought modernisation and a better standard of living to Tibet.

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