Tibetan monk dies after setting himself on fire in China protest

August 15th, 2011 - 11:48 pm ICT by BNO News  

BEIJING (BNO NEWS) — A Tibetan monk died on Monday after setting himself on fire in an apparent protest against Chinese rule in the southwestern province of Sichuan, a group campaigning for an end to the ‘Chinese occupation’ of Tibet said.

The London-based Free Tibet said Tsewang Norbu drank petrol, sprayed himself with petrol and then set himself on fire in the center of Daofu town in Sichuan’s Garzi district at 12.30 p.m. local time. According to witnesses, he shouted: “We Tibetan people want freedom”, “Long live the Dalai Lama” and “Let the Dalai Lama Return to Tibet”.

Shortly after details emerged about the death of the 29-year-old monk, telephone lines were reportedly cut and internet cafes were closed in an effort to control news spreading across Tibet. Free Tibet said they received reports that the army has surrounded the monastery.

Chinese state-run media made no mention of the incident as of Monday evening.

Tsewang’s death comes less than 6 months after another monk, Phuntsog, set himself on fire in the same region. Following Phuntsog’s death, the Chinese government deployed troops onto the streets of Ngaba town to forcibly remove hundreds of monks protesting in the wake of the incident.

The Dalai Lama has resided in the Indian city of Dharamsala, which is now the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, since 1960 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet. Dharamsala is sometimes also referred to as ‘Little Lhasa’, referring to the capital of Tibet.

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