Ti­betan’s fiery protest death re­ported

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING — A Ti­betan man set him­self on fire and died in a protest ear­lier this week call­ing for the re­turn of the re­gion’s ex­iled Bud­dhist leader, the Dalai Lama, a rights mon­i­tor­ing group re­ported.

The Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based In­ter­na­tional Cam­paign for Ti­bet said 23-year-old Dorbe self-im­mo­lated on Sun­day in Ngaba county, a tra­di­tion­ally Ti­betan re­gion of Sichuan prov­ince.

The group re­ported that Dorbe wished long life to the Dalai Lama be­fore set­ting him­self on fire, be­com­ing the 154st Ti­betan to self-im­mo­late since the protests be­gan in 2009. Such acts have grown in­creas­ingly rare in re­cent years amid a se­cu­rity crack­down by the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties.

Many Ti­betans use just one name.

China in­sists Ti­bet has been part of its ter­ri­tory for cen­turies, but many Ti­betans say they were essen­tially in­de­pen­dent for most of that time. The Dalai Lama fled to In­dia in 1959 dur­ing an abortive up­ris­ing against China’s heavy-handed rule im­posed af­ter the mil­i­tary bat­tled its way into the Hi­malayan re­gion nine years ear­lier.

The self-im­mo­la­tions by Ti­betan monks, nuns and lay­men aim to high­light harsh gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions and the op­pres­sion of Ti­bet’s Bud­dhist cul­ture, as well as ap­peal for the re­turn of the Dalai Lama.

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