Tibetan 'critical' after immolation bid

2012-03-27 10:00
Tibetan activist Jamphel Yeshi screams as he runs engulfed in flames after self-immolating at a protest in New Delhi, India, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the country. (Manish Swarup, AP)

Tibetan activist Jamphel Yeshi screams as he runs engulfed in flames after self-immolating at a protest in New Delhi, India, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the country. (Manish Swarup, AP)

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New Delhi - Indian doctors operated on a Tibetan exile who set himself alight and suffered severe burns in a protest against a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to New Delhi this week, his family said on Tuesday.

Jamphel Yeshi underwent the procedure overnight at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in the city after he doused himself in fuel and lit his clothes at a demonstration against alleged repression of Tibetans by the Chinese government.

"His condition is very critical. The doctors had to do an operation to get him breathing," Sonam Wangyal, Yeshi's cousin, said.

"No one knew of his plans. He did this act to fight for the rights of all the Tibetans."

Yeshi, aged 27, ran screaming down the street with his body covered in flames before collapsing on the ground. Fellow protesters tried to beat out the flames, and Yeshi was then taken to hospital.

29 self-immolations

Hundreds of Tibetan exiles who live in Delhi have vowed to protest throughout the week as President Hu is due in the city for a summit on Thursday.

"Our protests will not stop. China has no right to grab Tibet from us," Lobsang Wangyal, a member of the Tibetan Youth Movement in New Delhi, said.

Since the start of 2011, at least 29 Tibetans, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, are reported to have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China to protest against Chinese rule.

Many Tibetans in China complain of religious repression as well as a gradual erosion of their culture, which they blame on a growing influx of Han Chinese - the country's dominant ethnic group - in areas where they live.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hu jintao  |  tibet  |  india
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