Saturday, 19 March 2011

Tibetan Monk Burns Himself to Death in Protest Against Chinese Occupation

Chinese police have further tightened security amid reports of unrest after the death on Thursday of a young monk who set himself on fire to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.

The monk, Phuntsog, from Aba county, a mainly ethnicly Tibetan part of south-western Sichuan province, set himself ablaze on Wednesday afternoon and died early on Thursday morning, Xinhua, the state news agency, reported.

This is believed to be the first time a Tibetan monk has died from self-immolation in resistance to Chinese rule. In 2009, another Tibetan monk set himself on fire but survived.

The monk's self immolation came around the anniversary of the Lhasa riots in March 2008, in which 18 people were killed and several hundred injured.

It also takes place during heightened curbs on the Internet and foreign journalists in the wake of online attempts to stage Jasmine Revolution-like protests in Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

Reports say armed police have sealed off the Kirti monastery, where the monk came from. Telephone lines have also been cut.

The monk, who some reports say was only sixteen years old, was named as Rigzin Phuntsog. He had shouted slogans such as,'May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!' before setting fire to himself.
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