Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - A Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire this morning during a joint prayer near the Boudhanath stupa, one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the Nepalese capital. The religious identity is not yet confirmed but according to sources eyes - who have tried in vain to save his life - the man was Nyedon Karma Gyatso, an activist for human rights of the Tibetan community who arrived in Nepal in January 2012.
This is the second self-immolation to take place outside of Tibet, where instead more than 118 people have set themselves on fire to demand an end to Chinese repression and the return of the Dalai Lama. According to police in Kathmandu, there was no need to bring the religious to Tribhuvan hospital, goven that he died from the servere self-inflicted burns before his arrival.
The Chinese government has asked its Nepalese counterpart to "monitor" the Tibetan diaspora living within its borders. Over the past year, in fact, extreme protests against Communist rule in Lhasa have intensified. According to Beijing the Dalai Lama is fomenting the phenomena, while the Buddhist leader firmly denies these charges and has repeatedly called for his followers to "safeguard life above all else."
Meanwhile, the police arrested six people who converted to Christianity with the accusation of having slaughtered a cow for meat. The six - Hasta Bahadur Chhetri, Hasta Bahadur Chhetri, Krishna Bahadur Chhetri, Krishna Bahadur Chhetri, Resham Poudel and Bed Prasad Poudel - all come from Syangja district in the western part of the country.
According to Nepalese law, since the fall of the monarchy is no longer a crime to kill cows, sacred according to the dominant religion. However, civil society strongly condemns - and very often gets the help of the authorities - those who kill them to eat them. Hari Bahadur Baruwal, an officer of the area, confirms: "We are investigating the case, but the pressure of the Hindus might influence the outcome. We will try not to take it into account."