“The incident took place at 8:20am. Policemen on duty at the stupa managed to douse the flames and send him to hospital,” said Nepal Police spokesperson Keshav Adhikari.
The youth has been admitted to Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital where he is undergoing treatment for critical burn injuries.
This is the second successful attempt at self-immolation by Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu.
In November 2011 a Tibetan monk had set himself afire and the same month police had arrested 18 Tibetan refugees and foiled a self-immolation bid.
Wednesday marks the centenary of the decree issued by the 13th Dalai Lama reiterating Tibet’s status as an independent nation and Tibetans all over the world were planning to commemorate the event.
Security was beefed up in Kathmandu at places where Tibetan refugees reside and outside the Chinese embassy and visa offices to prevent any demonstrations by Tibetans.
Nepal follows a ‘One-China’ policy and in recent years it has imposed a clampdown on the nearly 20,000 Tibetan refugees who live here following pressure from Beijing.