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28 February, 2009

China tensions high after Tibet monk sets himself alight

Monk walks out of temple carrying image of Dalai Lama and set himself on fire.

Tensions were high in a flashpoint town of southwest China Saturday after a Tibetan monk set himself on fire in protest against Chinese rule, activist groups and residents said.

Chinese authorities confirmed a man had set himself alight, but did not acknowledge claims by activist groups that police shot the monk and that he embarked on his protest after officials banned prayers at his monastery.

The incident on Friday came amid reported protests across the Tibetan plateau ahead of the ultra-sensitive 50th anniversary on March 10 of a failed uprising against Chinese rule that led to the Dalai Lama fleeing to India.

The monk, in his late 20s, was shot after dousing himself with petrol and setting himself alight in the Tibetan-populated town of Aba in southwest China's Sichuan province, the London-based group Free Tibet reported.

The monk, from Kirti monastery in Aba, held a flag with an image of the Dalai Lama, the Himalayan region's spiritual leader, as he embarked on his protest, Free Tibet and other activist groups said.

Read the entire article at the AFP web site


Tibetan monk reportedly sets self on fire, shot
BEIJING (AP) — A Tibetan Buddhist monk in western China set himself on fire in an apparent protest against government religious restrictions and was shot by security forces, international Tibetan advocacy groups reported Saturday. (more) Monk immolates self in Tibet's Ngaba region:report
“I was told the monk had gasoline spilled onto his body, and as soon as he reached the main road of the town he set himself on fire. Bystanders said he held high a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and chanted something but couldn’t be heard,” Tsering said, adding that he might be calling for the return to Tibet of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and independence for Tibet. (more)

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