Three Tibetans in various regions in Sichuan province’s Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) committed self-immolation on Wednesday, protesting against what they call Chinese oppression of their state.
Two monks from the Tagtsang Lhamo Kirti monastery in Dzoege county set themselves ablaze and later succumbed to the burn injuries near their monastery, Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan service reported quoting sources from the region.
The dead monks were identified as Lobsang Dawa, 20, and Konchog Woeser, 23.
They staged “a fiery protest against Chinese policy in Tibet,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They died at around 6:30 p.m. local time near the main assembly hall of the monastery.”
Prayers were held for the two dead monks in their monastery and their bodies were cremated on Thursday.
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Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a 23–year-old Tibetan woman burned herself alive in a protest against Chinese rule in Sichuan’s Dzamthang (Rangtang) county, Tibetan sources said. The woman’s identity and details of the incident are not known. However, according to the Radio Free Asia report well-known Tibetan poet and blogger Woeser has confirmed the woman’s self-immolation in a blog entry.
In a desperate attempt to bring international attention to the Tibetan issue and force China to free Tibet, the Tibetans have been burning themselves to death in and outside China.
Six Tibetans in various regions in China committed self-immolation on Nov. 7, 2012, a day before the start of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.
China blames the Dalai Lama for fomenting the Tibetan unrest and encouraging self-immolation, while the Dalai Lama has been stating that he denounces violence and self-immolations are a result of oppressive Chinese policies in the region.
The Dalai Lama has been living in exile in a Tibetan settlement in India since 1959 after a Chinese crackdown forced him to flee Tibet.
Despite international pressure from the U.S. and other countries, the Chinese have continued their repression of the Tibetan movement. Although more than 110 Tibetans in China and abroad have set themselves on fire since 2009 - many fatally - to protest against the Chinese invasion of their territory, China has refused to accept that Tibetans in the TAR commit self-immolation.
In a recent report, the Chinese government-backed news agency Xinhua declared that there have been no cases of self-immolation in the Tibetan region of the nation, while the Free Tibet movement blamed China of suppressing the news of self-immolations in the region, pointing to a ban on foreign media in the region.
According to a report by Xinhua news agency, “no local residents, monks or nuns in the TAR have self-immolated so far.”