Four Tibetans have set themselves on fire across western China in the last two days, while a Tibetan student protest against the Beijing government drew a security crackdown.
VOA's Tibetan Service reports that three men set themselves ablaze on Monday and a nun died after burning herself on Sunday.
Wangyal, a Tibetan man in his 20s, self-immolated in Sichuan province. He is reported to have shouted slogans calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and freedom for the Tibetan people. Sources say Chinese authorities immediately arrived at the scene Monday and removed Wangyal’s charred body.
Another man, 24-year old Gonpo Tsering, burned himself to death in front of a monastery in Gansu province Monday. He also shouted slogans for a free Tibet.
The third man, 18-year-old Kunchok Tsering, also died after setting himself ablaze in Gansu.
Sangay Dolma, a nun affiliated with the Sangag Mindrol Dhargeyling convent, died after burning herself the day before in front of a government office in Qinghai province.
Separately, Chinese security forces cracked down Monday on a demonstration by thousands of Tibetan students in Qinghai, leaving some severely injured. The protesters shouted slogans demanding equal language rights and greater freedoms.
China called Sunday for an intensified crackdown on separatism in its Tibetan-inhabited regions. But the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group, said it is clear that Tibetans have not been dissuaded by the security buildup or other means of official intimidation.
At least 85 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
So far this month alone, 23 Tibetans are reported to have burned themselves.