11/20/2012, 00.00
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I am setting myself on fire to protest against the Chinese government, says Tibetan woman

by Nirmala Carvalho
Nyingkar Tashi self-immolated on 12 November. In a latter, she lays out her motives: Tibetan independence, the Dalai Lama's return and saving her people from cultural genocide.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - "I am setting fire to myself to protest against the Chinese government," wrote a young Tibetan woman in a letter released by Free Tibet. Nyingkar Tashi, 25, set herself fire on 12 November in the city of Dowa (Rebkong County, eastern Tibet) during a prayer ceremony for Tamdin Tso, a young mother who chose the same death on 7 November.

Before carrying out her deed, Nyingkar Tashi cried out words for Tibet's freedom and long life for the Dalai Lama.

In her letter, she starts out writing: "His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama and six million" Tibetans in Tibet "need freedom. Tibet needs independence". Then Nyingkar Tashi goes on to claim Tibetans' right to learn and use their own language.

Currently, Chinese has become the basic language of education in Tibet, primary school and up.  Chinese has also become the only language of business.

The young woman tells her family not mourn her, that she hopes that six million Tibetans may one day be free to speak Tibetan, wear Tibetan clothes and be united.

Since 2011, when young people began taking their own lives, at least 70 Tibetans committed suicide.

China continues to blame the Dalai Lama and his "clique" for the spate of suicides. However, Tibet's spiritual leader has always urged young Tibetans not to throw away their life in such extreme acts.

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