Self-immolations surge in Tibet

Dec. 2, 2012 at 7:13 PM
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NGABA, Tibet, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Twenty-eight people burned themselves to death in Tibet last month to protest Chinese rule, Students for a Free Tibet says.

The latest self-immolation came Friday when a 29-year-old Tibetan man set himself ablaze in Ngaba, Radio Free Asia reported. The death was the 28th in November and the 90th since protests seeking Tibetan independence resumed in February 2009, the network said.

Tibet has been under China's control since a 1959 revolt failed, sending the Dalai Lama into exile.

Tibet's government in exile, the Central Tibetan Administration, said the self-immolations highlight the "political repression, economic marginalization, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation" of Tibetans.

Students for a Free Tibet, comprised of students and activists pushing for human rights and freedom in Tibet, urged "multilateral action" Friday to bring about Tibetan independence.

"The humanitarian disaster unfolding inside Tibet -- where 28 of my people have been driven to light their bodies on fire in a single month -- demands immediate and coordinated action by world governments," Tenzin Dorjee, the group's executive director, said.

"Multilateral action is the only immediate way to pressure Beijing to end the repression that drives increasing numbers of Tibetans to give up their lives in these heartbreaking acts of protest."

Kate Woznow, the group's international director, said only united and wide-ranging international pressure will have any impact on China.

"Chinese leaders are crushing the Tibetan people under their repressive policies while easily ignoring the weak protestations being raised by a handful of countries," she said.

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