Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - Two young Tibetans set themselves on fire yesterday in Trindu County, a Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) of Jyekundo, Qinghai Province. Confirmation comes from activist groups and official Chinese media, that one of the two men died and the second was seriously injured. Before commiting self-immolation, they invoked the independence of Tibet and "long life" to their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama (click here to see the video, broadcast by Voice of America). In recent days, meanwhile, a Tibetan monk died in Chinese prisons as a result of torture by police officers; Karwang, 36, was accused of hanging posters glorifying the independence of Tibet and was awaiting trial.
Sources from the Tibetan Youth Congress reported that Norpel Ngawang, 22, and Tenzin Khedup, 24 (pictured) set themselves on fire at around 3:30 pm local time in the town of Zatoe, waving Tibetan flags and chanting slogans and anthems. Khedup, a shepherd, died immediately, while Norpel - an immigrant carpenter from the province of Aba - was seriously injured. A group of Tibetans in the area brought the corpse to the monastery of Tenzin Khedup Zilkar, for ritual prayers and the funeral ceremony. For the moment, no futher news is available concerning the condition of Ngawang Norpel or where he is being kept.
Dozens of young Tibetans, both monks and lay people, have chosen self-immolation as an extreme act of protest against Beijing, which continues to arrest anyone who manifest dissent against the political repression of Tibetan culture and religion. Since the beginning of 2012, 35 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to criticize the dictatorship in Beijing and to demand the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. The Tibetan spiritual leader has always stressed that he does "not encourage" these extreme forms of rebellion, but he has praised the "courage" of those who make the ultimate gesture, the result of the "cultural genocide" currently taking place in Tibet. Beijing responds by attacking the Dalai Lama, who is guilty of supporting "terrorists, criminals or mentally ill persons."(NC)