Four more Tibetans set selves alight in China

Four more Tibetans set selves alight in China

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
Four more Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest of China’s rule, taking the total to more than 20 this month.

The burnings came as authorities in a Tibetan area of Qinghai province in northwestern China apparently fuelled anger by issuing school booklets ridiculing the acts, Free Tibet campaign group said. As many as 1,000 students from a school in Chabcha county took part Nov. 26 in a protest believed to have been triggered by the booklets, with up to 20 hospitalized after police and security forces arrived, it said.

The spate of burnings in recent weeks began in the run-up to the Chinese Communist Party’s set-piece congress, where Xi Jinping was named as the organization’s general secretary in a 10-yearly power handover.

According to the Radio Free Asia, the latest incidents brought the number to 21 this month and 85 since 2009. Three of the latest victims, all in their teens or early 20s, died and one person was taken away by police with his condition currently unknown, it said.

Many Tibetans in China accuse the government of religious repression and eroding their culture, as the country’s majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas. Most of the 85 who have set themselves alight since 2009 have died, rights groups said. Beijing has accused exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations.