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March 31, 2014

Tibetan Nun Self-Immolates in Western China

by VOA News

A Tibetan nun has set herself on fire in western China, the latest such act to protest against Beijing's rule.

Reports say the nun set herself alight Saturday while walking around Bhachoede monastery in an ethnic Tibetan region of Sichuan province.

Passersby extinguished the fire and took her to a hospital in Bathang. It is not clear what condition she is in.

Residents in Bathang say communication lines have been cut to the region and security has been heightened.

Since 2009, more than 120 Tibetans demanding Tibetan freedom and the return of Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama have self-immolated.

The Tibetans are protesting what they say is Chinese repression of their culture. China denies the charges and says the suicide protests are acts of terrorism.

On March 16, two Tibetan monks set themselves on fire.

March is a sensitive month for Tibetans, because March 10, 1959 is the date the Dalai Lama fled China following a failed uprising. In March 2008, deadly riots broke out in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, and spread to other areas.  

The Tibetan administration-in-exile in Dharamsala, India has urged Tibetans not to set themselves on fire, and the U.S. government has called on China to resolve the Tibetan issue with a resumption of dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama.