Burning protest in Tibet
Two men set themselves on fire outside a temple that is a popular tourist destination in Lhasa, marking the first time a recent wave of self-immolations to protest Chinese rule has reached the tightly guarded Tibetan capital.
The official Xinhua News Agency said one of the men died and the other was hospitalised after they set themselves ablaze on Sunday outside the Jokhang Temple. The report quoted a local Communist Party official as blaming the incident on separatist forces.
Xinhua said the men were swifty removed by authorities within two minutes of burning themselves.
There have been at least 34 immolations since March of last year to draw attention to China's restrictions on Buddhism and to call for the return from exile of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Most have taken place in heavily Tibetan areas of China, but only one had occurred in Tibet itself and none in the capital.
Chinese authorities have confirmed some of the self-immolations over the past year but not all.
Most of the recent immolations have taken place in Aba, home to Kirti monastery, which has seen numerous protests against the Chinese government over the past several years. Xiahe is home to the large and influential Labrang monastery and the Tibetan community there has had sporadic clashes with local authorities.
Image: Man On Fire (publicity photo/movie)
Published: May 28, 2012