10/26/2011, 00.00
TIBET - CHINA
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Tibetan monk sets fire to himself crying: Long live the Dalai Lama

It is the 10th the self-immolation protest in a year. Taken to the hospital, he refuses all care and wants to be allowed to die. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of fomenting suicides. But in reality, young people who are frustrated use self immolate to protest repression.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - A Tibetan monk sprinkled himself with kerosene and set himself on fire in Sichuan, in protest against Chinese oppression and shouting "Long live the Dalai Lama." Taken to the hospital, he refuses all care and wants to be left to die.

According to local sources, reported by Radio Free Asia, the monk is called Dawa Tsering, is 31 years old and the episode took place in front of the monastery of Kardze (Ganzi in Chinese), in the Tibetan prefecture Sichuan, after shouting to the monks present to remain united against the government in Beijing.

Other monks present said they heard him shout "Long live the Dalai Lama."

The monks managed to save his body from the flames and transported Dawa Tsering to the hospital in Kardze, followed by a group of policemen. The hospital was immediately surrounded by security forces who cordoned off the area.

A present there monk said Dawa Tsering refuses all treatment, with his face and body skin burned and covered with bandages. He asks to be left to die.

Dawa Tsering is the 10th monk to attempt to burn himself to death this year, the highest number in recent times. At least five of them reached their goal, dying. Last week a nun, Tenzin Wamgmo, about 20 years old, set herself on fire. It was the first female self-immolation case.

Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of being responsible for these deaths, of being a troublemaker and dividing Tibet. They brand the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism as "a wolf in sheep's clothing" who wants to divide the country. In fact, for some time, the Dalai Lama has only sought a relative autonomy for Tibet and the safeguarding of the cultural and religious identity of its people.

A few days ago in Dharamsala, the city where he is exiled, the Dalai Lama held a day of prayer and fasting for those who have sacrificed themselves. Several Tibetan authorities are keen to point out that suicide is contrary to their faith and that the action of these young monks is due to Chinese repression and a lack of their profound knowledge of Buddhism (see 20/10/2011 Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of inciting suicide).

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