08/28/2012, 00.00
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Two Tibetan teenagers set themselves on fire in Sichuan

Damchoe, 17, and Lobsang, 18, self-immolated in Ngaba, calling for the independence of Tibet. The number of self-immolations now stands at 51. On August 25, a Tibetan nun held a lone protest for the return of the Dalai Lama. The police seized her and all trace of her whereabouts has been lost.

Lhasa (AsiaNews / RFA) - Two young Tibetans have died after setting themselves on fire near the Kirti Monastery (Aga County, China's Sichuan province), in protest against Beijing's rule in the Tibetan areas. The incident occurred yesterday morning, two days after the disappearance of a Tibetan nun, taken away by the police for having staged a protest against China in Kardze. With the death of two young men, the number of Tibetan self immolations has risen to 51 since February 2009.

Damchoe, a former monk at Kirti age 17, and Lobsang Kalsang, 18, set themselves on fire near the "Road of the Heroes", the main street of Ngaba and the epicenter of most of the self-immolations that have occurred in Sichuan province. The police took the burned bodies first to hospital in Ngaba, and then transferred them to the Barkham County. Sources of the Tibetan government-in-exile report that two died in the evening, but it is not known whether the authorities will return the bodies to their families. Damchoe was the nephew of another victim and the younger brother of the nun Tenzin Chodron, who also died in a protest.

Instead on August 25, the nun Shedrub Lhamo, 39 years old, held a lone protest in the prefecture of Kardze (Sichuan Province). Belonging to the monastery of Ganden Choeling, the Tibetan religious demonstrated demanding the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and handing out leaflets on the subject. Witnesses say they saw the police take the nun away. No more has been heard of her since.


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