Two more Tibetans have died outside Kirti Monastery in Aba County, Sichuan, after setting themselves on fire in protest again Beijing’s policies in Tibet. Exile Tibetan groups say the deaths mark the 51st self-immolation since 2009. The Guardian reports on a news release from London-based Free Tibet:
The group said 18-year-old monk Lobsang Kalsang and 17-year-old former monk Damchoek set themselves on fire on Monday outside Kirti monastery in Aba county in the south-west Chinese province of Sichuan. They died later that day in hospital, Free Tibet said.
Citing witnesses, Free Radio Asia said the two teenagers shouted slogans condemning Chinese policies in Tibet.
Police in Aba county said on Tuesday they had no information on the self-immolations, which are rarely reported by Chinese state media. There have been at least 27 self-immolations in Aba, according to an earlier tally by the International Campaign for Tibet.
Supporters say the self-immolations are done in protest against Beijing’s heavy-handed rule in Tibetan regions and to call for the return of the Dalai Lama. China has blamed the Tibetans’ exiled spiritual leader for inciting the deaths, but the Dalai Lama denies the claim. He has never publicly supported or denounced the acts.
Read about the previous self-immolations by Tibetans, via CDT.