By Claire Cozens (AFP) , August 28, 2012
BEIJING — Two teenagers burned to death in southwest China, taking to over 50 the number of Tibetans who have set themselves alight in protest against Beijing’s rule, rights groups said on Tuesday.
Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a Buddhist monk, and former monk Damchoek, 17, died in hospital on Monday after setting themselves on fire in Aba town, which has become a flashpoint for such protests by ethnic Tibetans.
China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas have seen an explosion in the violent form of protest since March 2011, when the self-immolation of a monk named Phuntsog at Aba’s revered Kirti monastery sparked riots and a police crackdown.
The first recorded similar incident was in February 2009, and there have now been 51 such fiery protests, according to tallies compiled by overseas-based pressure groups Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet.
In 2009, a young Kirti monk doused himself in oil and set himself on fire carrying an image of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, before being shot by police and taken to a local hospital. Continue reading