A Tibetan man died after he and another man set themselves on fire in southwestern China, state media said today, taking the total number of similar acts to 14 in the restive region in less than a year.
The incidents happened Friday near the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province’s Aba county — the scene of a sporadic bouts of unrest since a young monk named Phuntsog self-immolated last March — the official Xinhua news agency said.
Rights groups say nine monks and two nuns have previously set themselves on fire over the past year in Sichuan to protest against the perceived religious repression of Tibetan Buddhists, and that at least seven have died.
Another former monk self-immolated in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The latest violent acts involved two former monks at Kirti, Xinhua said. An 18-year-old died in a hotel room after setting himself on fire while another man aged 22 was being treated in hospital after setting himself ablaze.
The London-based Free Tibet campaign group, citing eyewitness accounts, said the 22-year-old had called for the return of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, as he set himself on fire.
The flames were extinguished and he was taken away to an undisclosed location, they said.
That must be something to see in person!