Tibetan man self-immolates in protest in China
A Tibetan man has died after setting himself on fire in northwest China’s Qinghai province, state media reported on Friday, in the latest in a series of protests against Chinese rule.
The official Xinhua news agency says Libong Tsering, 19, self-immolated in Tongren county on Thursday afternoon but provided no further details about why the man set himself ablaze.
Two days earlier, Xinhua reported two Tibetan herdsmen killed themselves by setting themselves on fire in two separate incidents.
The latest death brings to at least 78 the number of Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 in protest against what overseas supporters say is China’s strict control over Tibet’s Buddhist culture and a suffocating security presence in Tibetan regions.
Most of the protesters have doused themselves with petrol and set themselves alight after shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence and blessings for the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader. China blames him for encouraging the wave of self-immolations that Beijing has apparently been powerless to stop despite stepped-up security and an extensive spying network.
The latest death was also reported by the self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile based in India, which repeated a call for China to reassess its policies toward Tibetans.
“The Central Tibetan Administration urges the Chinese government to address the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people, instead of imposing counter-productive measures targeting the families and relatives of the self-immolators,” it said in a statement, using the formal name of the body headquartered in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala.