China-Tibet-rights-group protest after self-immolation
After a young Buddhist monk set himself on fire hundreds of Tibetans gathered in China’s southwest to guard the body, said a rights group said Monday. The 18-year-old monk, whose name was Nangdrol, set himself alight Sunday in Sichuan province’s Rangtang county. After one Tibetan was reportedly shot dead there by security forces last month, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said.
This was the latest self-immolation to occur in the country but not the only one. At least 22 people have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China over the past year -- mostly in Sichuan -- in what is seen as a desperate act by Tibetans protesting against the Chinese rule.
On the basis of exiled Tibetan sources with contacts in the area, ICT said Nangdrol had died and his body was taken back to a local monastery. This information was later confirmed by the London-based Free Tibet.
Tibetan police ordered to hand over the body but Monks did not obey to the orders and more than 1,000 people gathered to hold a vigil on Sunday evening, ICT said.
The group said the young Buddhist monk shouted “May HH (His Holiness) Dalai Lama live 10,000 years” and “Freedom for Tibet” when he set himself on fire.
Nevertheless, an official surnamed Huang, who works for the finance department of the Rangtang government, denied the self-immolation and also that a gathering had taken place.
Instead he said, “everything is fine. The order is normal,” and adding, there was a strong security presence: “We have police and armed police on duty 24 hours a day. All government offices have staff on duty 24 hours a day”.
Tensions in this region have increased markedly this year, and western parts of Sichuan -- which borders the Tibet autonomous region and where a large population of ethnic Tibetans lives -- were hit by several in death resulting riots last month.
As a consequence, authorities have increased their surveillance of monasteries and cut some phone and Internet communications in parts of the vast Tibetan-inhabited regions.
Tibetans who would like to see to Tibet split from the rest of the nation, traveled to India in January with valid passports to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings. They have know been detained on their return to China and, as rights groups say, they are made to undergo political re-education.
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