TIME China

Tibetan Monk in China Said to Self-Immolate in Independence Protest

"[While he burned], he called out for Tibet’s complete independence"

A Tibetan monk in southwest China reportedly set himself on fire on Feb. 29 in protest against the Chinese government, joining dozens of his fellow Buddhist clergymen to stage such demonstrations in recent years.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) cites anonymous sources in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in Sichuan province, saying that the monk, Kalsang Wangdu, died from his burns shortly after self-immolating outside the Retsokha Aryaling monastery in Xinlong country.

“[While he burned], he called out for Tibet’s complete independence,” the source said, according to RFA.

A 16-year-old Tibetan exile in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand also reportedly attempted to self-immolate on Feb. 29, and is receiving treatment for burns at a New Delhi hospital.

More than 140 monks in China have died in similar protests since 2009, calling for China to grant Tibetans self-rule and allow the return of the Dalai Lama.


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