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November 28, 2012

Young Tibetan Dies in Self-Immolation

by VOA News

Tibetan sources tell in interviews with VOA that an 18-year-old man has died after setting himself on fire as part of a surge in self-immolation protests against Chinese rule in Tibetan areas of western China.

The sources said Sangye Tashi self-immolated at around 11 p.m. local time Tuesday in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu province. They said he shouted slogans calling for the release of Tibetan political prisoners and the return of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Tibetan residents later carried his body to a nearby house.

The young man was the second to die in such self-immolation protests in recent days.

At least 87 Tibetans have self-immolated in western China since 2009, with 25 cases reported this month. The acceleration in self-immolations has coincided with Tibetans staging several anti-China rallies, despite a heavy Chinese security presence.

Beijing accuses the India-based Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations to promote Tibetan separatism - a charge he denies. Speaking on a visit to Mumbai Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said totalitarian forms of government are on the decline globally and urged China's Communist rulers to act according to what he called the "new reality."