02/21/2013, 00.00
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Self-immolations in Tibet: Two teens die

The boys, 17 and 18 years of age, demanded an end to the Chinese regime and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. The UN Council for the Rights of the child wants to include self immolations of a minor among the violations of the rights of the child.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two young Tibetan teenagers set themselves on fire and died in Ngaba (Sichuan Province), calling for the end of the Chinese regime and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Rinchen (pictured) and Sonam Dargye - these are their names - were 17 and 18 years old and lived in the city of Kyantsa. Radio Free Asia (RFA) report the incident occurred yesterday afternoon. The victims died on the spot and their bodies were immediately taken away by their families.

Of the104 Tibetans who from 2008 to present have chosen to set themselves on fire, at least 20 are young people of 18 years of age or minors. According to Dicki Chhoyang, Information and International Relations Minister of the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, "he self-immolations are sending an unequivocal message to the world about the gravity of the situation in Tibet."

During a meeting in Geneva for the upcoming session of the UN Council for Human Rights, the minister read a letter left by Nangdrol, an 18 year-old Tibetan who died after setting himself on fire February 19, 2012:  "We are unable to remain under these draconian laws, unable to tolerate this torment that does not leave a scar, because the pain of not enjoying any basic human rights is far greater than the pain of self-immolation".

Given the high number of young people and adolescents who have chosen to suicide to protest for the cause of Tibet, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is considering the possibility of including the self immolation of Tibetan minors on the list of abuses of children's rights, and to question China about the issue.

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