News / Asia

Another Tibetan Monk Reportedly Dies after Setting Himself on Fire

Another Tibetan monk has reportedly died after setting himself on fire in China's Qinghai province.

Radio Free Asia identified the monk as Tamchoe Sangpo who was protesting the presence of Chinese security forces at his Bongtak monastery.

His death is part of a series of self-immolations that have occurred recently in protest against Chinese rule over the country's Tibetan regions.  Two teenaged Tibetans, a nun and a monk, killed themselves earlier this month.

Over the past year the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire has climbed past 20, with at least a dozen dying as a result.

On Friday, China detained several hundred Tibetans after they returned home after attending teaching sessions in India with the exiled Dalai Lama.  The detentions of ordinary Tibetans, believed to be the first since the late1970's, are seen as part of a Chinese government crackdown ahead of next week's celebrations of the Tibetan New Year, on February 22.

China accuses the Dalai Lama and overseas organizations such as the London-based Free Tibet movement of instigating the unrest.

During this week's visit to the United States of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, senior U.S. officials raised concerns about human rights.  Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for President in 2008, brought up the wave of self-immolations during Xi's visit to Congress.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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