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Immolation death in Lhasa

Anti-government suicide protests continued in China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) on Friday after a Tibetan man set himself on fire. He later died of his injuries.

world Updated: Jun 16, 2012 01:38 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Anti-government suicide protests continued in China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) on Friday after a Tibetan man set himself on fire. He later died of his injuries.

“A person died of self-immolation Friday morning in Jianzha county of Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefecture of northwest China's Qinghai province,” Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency’s brief report said.

“The person's identity and cause of the death are under investigation, according to the prefecture authorities,” Xinhua said.

A Tibet-related rights group however released details of the incident. London-based Free Tibet identified the person as Tamdrinthar, a Tibetan nomad man in his early 60s.

The group said in a statement that Tamdrinthar “set fire to himself outside the Chinese People’s Armed Police compound in Markethang Town, Eastern Tibet (1) at 6 am local time this morning, 15 June 2012. Tamdrin died at the scene and police took his body to Xining.”

The statement added: “Four to five hundred local lay people and monks then protested in the town, demanding the return of Tamdrin’s body. His body was returned to his family who took it to the Lamo Dechen Monastery.”

It is difficult to independently verify reports coming from TAR as journalists are banned from visiting the province.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden commented: “Tamdrin’s act was a clear and absolute rejection of Chinese rule: he set fire to himself at a location that represents to Tibetans the brutality of China’s occupation."

About 35 people attempted self immolations during the past several months stepping up calls for return of their leader the Dalai Lama.

Beijing blames the Dalai Lama for inciting ethnic Tibetans to commit suicide and have increasingly tightened security in the areas.

But the suicides continue. A young Tibetan woman died after setting herself afire in western China late May. Days before that two Tibetans self-immolated in front of a famous temple in Lhasa, the Capital of TAR.