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600 detained in Tibetan capital

May 31, 2012 at 11:04 AM
| License Photo

LHASA, Tibet, May 31 (UPI) -- Some 600 people were detained in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, where two people set themselves on fire this week to protest Chinese rule, Radio Free Asia reported.

Meanwhile, exile groups said a mother of three young children had died after setting herself on fire, apparently to protest Chinese rule, Voice of America reported.

The protester, identified as a 33-year-old named Rikyo, died Wednesday in front of the Jonang Dzamthang monastery in a prefecture in Ngaba in Sichuan Province.

Tsangyang Gyatso, the head of the Jonang Welfare Association, said Rikyo was a neighbor of three young Tibetans who self-immolated this year while demanding safe return of the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The U.S. government-backed Radio Free Asia said many people outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region have been officially expelled.

In Lhasa Sunday, two young men set themselves ablaze outside the Jokhang Temple, the first self-immolations in the recent wave of protests to take place in the capital. State media reported one of the protesters died and the other was hospitalized.

For 14 months, anti-China protests have taken place in southwestern China and neighboring Tibet among Tibetans demanding freedoms and the return of the Dalai Lama, who lives in northern India.

China moved this week to ban religious practices during the sacred month of Saka Dawa, which began May 21 and commemorates the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.

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