Lhasa (AsiaNews) - Lobsang Tsultrim, a 20-yr-old Tibetan monk who self-immolated on 16 March 2012 died last night in Barkham (Ngaba, Sichuan), after three long painful days. After preventing his parents from visiting their son, the authorities cremated Lobsang's body and gave his ashes to the family. On the same day, monks at the Kirti Monastery held a prayer ceremony following the monk's death.
According to local sources, Lobsang was a cousin of Norbu Damdul, a 19 year-old former monk at the Kirti Monastery, who self-immolated on 15 October 2011 and later died on 5 January 2012.
Since February 2009, 29 monks have set themselves on fire to demonstrate against China's rigid censorship and control.
In order to keep Tibetan religious under control, China has brought all forms of worship under its tight rein, deciding if and when monasteries can open.
The Dalai Lama has always discouraged this form of protest; nevertheless, he has praised the courage that it takes to choose such an extreme action, which is the consequence of China's ongoing policy of cultural genocide in Tibet. (N.C.)