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Tibetan Man Burns Himself, Protesting China’s Policy in Tibet

  • VOA News

Reports just coming out of Tibet say a Tibetan man sets himself on fire at about 8 PM local time February 24, 2013 in Haidong Prefecture in Qinghai Province, Tibet.

Phakmo Thondup, who is about 20-years-old, protesting China’s repressive policy in Tibet, set himself ablaze in Ja Khyung Monastery in Haidong Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

Reports say the monks of the Ja Khyung Monastery took him right away to a local hospital and is being treated for burns. There are no reports of seriousness of the injury as yet.

Lhase Tsang, a Tibetan who has close contacts in the area, says the monks have been praying for his life and the condition of Phakmo Thondup is unknown at this time. He also says a large contingent of Chinese security forces have already arrived at the Ja Khyung Monastery.

Phakmo Thondup is from Tsa Phik township, Wa Yan County, Qinghai Province. His father’s name is Shawo, and he has an older sibling.

The latest incident brings the total number of self-immolations in Tibet to 105 since February 2009.

Tibetan sources also say that China has made it “very difficult” to contact people in the area. Unlike other cases of self-immolations, this time no photos of self-immolations were available at this time.

Last week (February 19, 2013) two Tibetan teenagers - Rinchen , 17, and Sonam Dhargyal, 18, - set themselves on fire, protesting China’s rule in Tibet. Both of them had died.

Last week, Dicki Chhoyang, Tibetan exile minister for the Department of Information and International Relations, called on China to be accountable to its UN pledges.

Addressing the 5th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, a conference organized by Geneva- based UN Watch and an international coalition of 20 NGOs, Kalon Chhoyang said, “The reasons for these self-immolations in Tibet are China’s political repression, economic marginalization, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation…. The self-immolations by the new generation of Tibetans born under Chinese rule are sending an unequivocal message to the world about the gravity of the situation in Tibet.”

The self-immolators have called for freedom in Tibet and return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet from exile.
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