Beijing, A 20-year-old Tibetan monk in western China has become the latest to set himself on fire in protest
against Chinese rule, Tibetan exiles said.
The monk, Lobsang Tsultrim, self-immolated yesterday in
Aba, a monastery town in Sichuan province that has been under
a security lockdown, two Tibetan monks exiled in India said in
an e-mailed statement.
Nearly 30 Tibetans have set themselves on fire over the
last year to protest the suppression of their religion and
culture and to call for the return of their exiled spiritual
leader, the Dalai Lama.
Tsultrim was a monk from Aba`s Kirti Monastery, the scene
of numerous protests against the Chinese government over the
past several years, according to the two exiled monks, Losang
Yeshe and Kanyag Tsering. The two monks were formerly from the
Tsultrim set himself on fire and walked along Aba`s main
road, shouting slogans against the Chinese government, the
exiles said. When armed police ran to stop him, he turned and
ran back, and was knocked to the ground by a police officer,
Police extinguished the flames and put him into the back
of a pickup vehicle, the statement said.
A man who answered the phone at the Aba township
government said he had not heard about the self-immolation and
hung up. Calls to the government and police of Aba county rang
Radio Free Asia reported that more than 1,000 Tibetans
demonstrated Friday in neighbouring Qinghai province`s Tongde
county to call for the release of more than 50 monks who had
been detained Thursday amid a crackdown on a monastery.
Authorities in Tongde either could not be reached by phone
or said they had not heard about the protest.