Tibet Monk Sets Self on Fire to Protest Chinese Rule

Self-immolation sets off protests
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 11:19 AM CDT
Tibetan Monk Self Immolates to Protest China's Rule
Tibetans Buddhist monks participate in a protest marking the 52nd anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising against Chinese rule, at Boudhanath in Kathmandu on March 10, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A Tibetan monk set off a protest today in western China by setting himself on fire, according to a group campaigning for Tibetan independence. The monk, a 21-year-old from an ethnically Tibetan part of Sichuan province, “immolated himself today in protest against the crackdown,” the International Campaign for Tibet tells Reuters. “He shouted some slogans about freedom when he did it.”

The group said that it had reports of a protest with “nearly one thousand monks and lay people that came after,” which police moved to suppress, arresting some monks. Police wouldn’t confirm the report—the only officer to answer the phone simply said, “Nothing is wrong.” The protest comes on the anniversary of Tibet’s March 2008 protests. The self-immolation is the latest in a string seemingly inspired by Mohamed Bouazizi, whose death sparked Tunisia’s revolution. (Read more suicide stories.)

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