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Tibetan Man Self-Immolates in China


FILE - Kunchok Tseten (Courtesy of Free Tibet)

FILE - Kunchok Tseten (Courtesy of Free Tibet)

Tibetan exiles are reporting that another person has self-immolated to protest Chinese rule.

Sources tell VOA that Kunchok Tseten set himself on fire on Tuesday in the town of Meruma in Sichuan province, an area that has seen a number of self-immolations since 2009. It is not known if he survived.

Lhamo Kyap, who is from the same town but now lives in Dharamsala, India, told VOA's Tibetan service the father of two had been planning this act for quite some time.

"Kunchok Tseten had told a relative this summer that he would set himself on fire to protest against the Chinese atrocities on Tibetans. The relative had advised him not to take his own life," said Kyap.

Police clashed briefly with locals who tried to prevent them from taking away Kunchok Tseten's body. His wife and other relatives were later detained and businesses in the town were forced to shut down for the rest of the day.

Chinese authorities have not commented on the latest self-immolation.

More than 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protest what they say is Chinese repression of their culture. China denies the charges and calls the suicide protests acts of terrorism.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.
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