Monday, 28 May 2012

Tibetan men in First Self-immolations in Lhasa

For the first time there has been a self-immolation protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet in Lhasa itself.

Two men set themselves on fire in the Tibetan city of Lhasa on Sunday, Chinese state media said, confirming earlier reports.

One of the men died and the other "survived with injuries", Xinhua news agency said. The self-immolations are thought to be the first in Lhasa and the second inside Tibet. But they follow a series of self-immolations, mostly involving monks and nuns, in Tibetan areas outside Tibet.

"They were a continuation of the self-immolations in other Tibetan areas and these acts were all aimed at separating Tibet from China," Hao Peng, head of the Communist Party's Commission for Political and Legal Affairs in the Tibet Autonomous Region, was quoted as saying.

The man who died was identified as Tobgye Tseten, from Gansu province in China. The other man, named Dargye, survived and was able to talk, the Xinhua report said.

An earlier Radio Free Asia (RFA) report had referred to the men as monks and said that the incident took place outside the Jokhang Temple, a well-known destination for pilgrims and tourists.

The Xinhua report said the self-immolations took place on a busy street near the temple. Downtown Lhasa was crowded with people celebrating a Buddhist festival, it added.

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