Tibetans in exile say two more of their compatriots have died after setting themselves on fire in protest of China's policies in their region.
VOA's Tibetan Service learned that 31-year-old Tsering Namgyal, a father of two, died Thursday in the town of Luchu in the northeastern part of Tibet, after self-immolating in front of a government office.
In the same region, 21-year-old Bendey Khar died of severe burns after setting himself on fire Wednesday. Witnesses are quoted as saying he called for the return of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, from exile, the release of all Tibetan political prisoners, cultural and religious freedom in Tibet and the protection of its fragile environment.
The total number of Tibetan self-immolations has reached 89 since that form of protest against Beijing began in 2009. They have increased in recent months, reaching an average of one a day 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, India Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said totalitarian forms of government are on the decline globally, and he urged China's Communist rulers to act according to what he called the "new reality."