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Tibetan self-immolates in New Delhi

March 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM

NEW DELHI, March 26 (UPI) -- A self-immolation in India should be seen as an appeal to the international community that Tibetans need support, an activist said.

A Tibetan exile, identified by The New York Times as Jampa Yeshi, set himself on fire Monday during a Tibetan rally in New Delhi. He was hospitalized for treatment for severe burns but was expected to live.

Dorjee Tsetan, a witness and national director of Students for a Free Tibet, said pro-Tibetan sentiment was high as Chinese leaders arrived for an economic summit this week.

"This is a call for the international community that Tibetans need their support," he told the Times.

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetans, is among the 120,000 Tibetans who live in India.

Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua during the weekend described the Dalai Lama as a "Nazi" who "is sponsored by the U.S. and his relatives work for the CIA."

Human Rights Watch had said Chinese policy of stationing administrators at Tibetan monasteries was making an already tense situation worse.

More than half of the estimated 30 Tibetans who've set themselves on fire in the past year have died.

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