Lhasa (AsiaNews) - The self-immolation of the Tibetans for the return of the Dalai Lama and the end of the Chinese occupation continue. Yesterday, two young monks set themselves on fire in Barkham Ngaba county, eastern Tibet, the Chinese province of Sichuan. They are Tenpa Dhargyal, 22, a native of the village of Tsang Leko, and Chime Palden, 21, from the village Yesti Tsang. Both have been in the monastery of Kirti to 80 km from the city since 2009.
As soon as news of the double sacrifice spread, some brothers rushed to Barkham, but the Chinese police prevented them from entering the city, forcing them to turn back. The two monks were still alive when they were taken away by the authorities, but their place of detention, whether they have been cared for or left to die is unknown. The police detained people who witnessed the episode.
Following the self immolation, the authorities blockaded the city to avoid demonstrations by the people.
On March 29, Lobsang Sherab also a Kirti monk, died after setting himself on fire in the town of Chara (Ngaba County).
This year alone more than 24 Tibetans (at least 27 since 2009) have self immolated, many of them young people. All of them did so in protest against the strict control imposed by Beijing, which oversees the practice of worship, the opening and closing of the monasteries, and to demand the return of the spiritual leader of Tibetans. In contrast, the Dalai Lama has always emphasized he is "not encouraging" these extreme forms of protest, but he has praised the "courage" of those who make the ultimate gesture, the result of a "cultural genocide" is taking place in Tibet at the hands of China. (N.C.)