On Wednesday, five Tibetans self-immolated in protest against Chinese policies in Tibet. The next day, a former monk set himself alight in Tongren, Qinghai. Following this incident, thousands of people gathered in protest in Tongren (Rebkong), which was also the scene of Wednesday’s self-immolation by a 23-year-old mother. According to media reports, a broad range of people protested including high school students and nomads from neighboring areas. The Los Angeles Times reports:
As many as 6,000 people demonstrated against the government Thursday afternoon in Tongren, a monastery town in Qinghai province, after two self-immolations — a 23-year-old woman on Wednesday and a young former monk on Thursday, exile groups reported.
“The situation there is very tense as Chinese armed forces have placed severe restrictions on movement in the town and are now closing in on the protesters,” a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile told the Tibetan news service Phayul.
“We have heard that 2,000 to 6,000 people demonstrated, which are plausible numbers given that there have been protests of that size before,” said Harriet Beaumont, a spokeswoman for the London-based group Free Tibet.
She said the protests were carried out in response to the heavy troop presence and other stifling security measures, intimidating footage on television and harsh sentences for involvement in a protest or disclosure about demonstrations to outsiders.
The International Campaign for Tibet has more details:
As Jinpa Gyatso set himself ablaze, he could be heard shouting for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, according to a Tibetan source in exile. His body was taken by local Tibetans to an area where high lamas are cremated. According to other exile sources, following the cremation, Tibetans began to gather at the square where Jinpa had died, and some shouted slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s...
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