Monday, February 20, 2012

Teenage Tibetan monk self-immolates, dies: rights group

(Reuters) - A teenage Tibetan Buddhist monk has set himself on fire and died in southwestern China, a rights group said, in the latest reported self-immolation by a monk denouncing Chinese policies in Tibet and demanding the return of the Dalai Lama.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said last week the self-immolations were extreme acts to undermine stability in the region and had no popular support, the highest level comments since increased tension in January.

Nangdrol, 18, set himself ablaze Sunday in Ngaba (Aba in Chinese), a Tibetan populated area in Sichuan province, the London-based International Campaign for Tibet said in an email.

There have been as many as 23 burnings over the past year, not including Sunday's incident, according to rights groups.

Monks refused to comply with police orders to hand over Nangdrol's body, which was taken to a monastery where Buddhist rituals were performed for him, ICT said, quoting unidentified exile Tibetan sources. More than 1,000 Tibetans gathered to hold vigil, the group said. Read More