Exiled Tibetans pay homage to farmer who set self ablaze | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Exiled Tibetans pay homage to farmer who set self ablaze

chandigarh Updated: Nov 05, 2012 19:05 IST
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Exiled Tibetans residing in Dharamsala held a candlelight vigil to express solidarity with a farmer, who immolated himself in Tibet, owing to the 'repressive' policies of the Chinese government on their homeland.

A 25-year-old Tibetan farmer, Lhundup Dorjee, died after he set himself on fire outside a hotel in Tibet on Sunday.

Earlier, a 24-year-old Tibetan farmer, Lhamo Tseten, had died on October 26 from self-immolation near a military base and a government office. Later, Tsepag Kyab, 21, also set himself on fire and died.

Regional Tibetan Youth Congress vice-president Nyima said they have all gathered to demonstrate peacefully against repressive policies of Chinese government. "A Tibetan immolated himself in Tibet. He was 25-year-old. We have organised a candlelight vigil to extend solidarity and we heard this news, it was disheartening. We have gathered here for a candlelight vigil," she said.

The status of Taiwan and the human rights situation in Tibet is a contentious political issue for China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province to be eventually unified with the mainland.

Tensions over Tibet are at their highest in years after a spate of protests over Chinese rule and self-immolations by Tibetan activists, which have prompted a Chinese security crackdown.

The surge in self-immolations in China in protest over its rule in Tibet has heightened tension in recent months.

Indian-based rights groups said there had been a massive security clampdown in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China, and in some instances protesters were beaten even as they were set ablaze.

China has branded the self-immolators "terrorists" and criminals, and has blamed the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, for inciting them.

China rejects criticism that it is eroding Tibetan culture and faith, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region. China has ruled Tibet since 1950, when Communist troops marched in and announced its "peaceful liberation".

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising, has accused China of "cultural genocide". Beijing considers him a separatist and does not trust his insistence that he only wants greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.