The number of Tibetans in China who have set themselves on fire to protest Beijing's rule has reached 100, according to Tibetan advocacy groups.
Lobsang Namgyal, a 37-year-old former monk, set himself on fire earlier this month in Aba prefecture, known in Tibetan as Ngaba, an ethnically Tibetan area of the Chinese province of Sichuan, according to Free Tibet, a London-based advocacy group.
"This grim milestone should be a source of shame to the Chinese authorities who are responsible and to the world leaders who have yet to show any leadership in response to the ongoing crisis in Tibet," said Stephanie Brigden, the director of Free Tibet.
Self-immolation has become a desperate form of protest in recent years for ethnic Tibetans unhappy with Chinese rule, and it shows no sign of abating.FULL STORY
A group of Tibetan activists were detained during protests near the Chinese embassy in New Dehli, India on Monday.
The protests followed two Tibetan monks dying after setting themselves on fire on the eve of a Chinese leaders' gathering. CNN has reported on a number self-immolations in the past from Nbaga county by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule.
[Updated 2:38 a.m.] Two Tibetans died after setting themselves on fire yesterday, said the speaker for the Tibetan parliament in exile. One of them was a 15-year-old monk in Ngaba county, where three monks burned themselves. The other is a 23-year-old woman from a separate incident in the Qinghai Province, said Penpa Tsering from Dharamsala, India, citing sources in Tibet.
[Posted 2:20 a.m.] A teenage Tibetan monk died yesterday and 2 were injured after they set themselves on fire in an act of protest on the eve of Â a key meeting of top Chinese officials, a Tibetan rights group said.
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The Chinese authorities have contested reports that three Tibetans set themselves on fire last week in a remote area of southwestern China.
The conflicting accounts followed an increase in security measures by the Chinese authorities in Ganzi, an ethnically Tibetan area of Sichuan Province, in response to violent protests that took place last month.
The unrest has been fueled in part by reports of a string of self-immolations by Tibetans over the past year amid anger and despair over Chinese rule.
Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-based nonprofit group, reported over the weekend that the three Tibetans had set fire to themselves on Friday morning in a village known as Phuwu and that one of them had died as a result. The group, which broadcasts in Asian countries that it says lack "full and free news media," attributed the information to unidentified sources.
According to Radio Free Asia, Phuwu is in the county of Seda in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which is home to a population that is nearly 80% Tibetan. Seda is known by Tibetans as Serthar.
Free Tibet, a London-based organization that campaigns against Chinese rule in the Tibetan region, also reported the self-immolations on its website. It did not specify where it got the information from.
But Global Times, an English-language newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party, published an article Monday that disputed that version of events. It cited local government officials as saying that no self-immolations had taken place recently.FULL STORY
Thousands of Chinese security forces have flooded into an ethnically Tibetan area of southwestern China following large protests that led to violent, sometimes deadly, clashes with the police.
Amid anger and despair over Chinese rule, a series of recent self-immolations by Tibetans has spurred the unrest in the region ahead of the Tibetan New Year next month.
In an effort to contain the situation, China has sent in reinforcements to try to impose order on the scenic Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. State media has also reported that outside rights groups and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, are to blame for the troubles.
The violence appears to be the worst between ethnic Tibetans and the Chinese authorities since 2008, when deadly unrest in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, left at least 22 people dead.
Four hours west of the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, on the craggy mountain roads leading to Ganzi, police officers stopped all cars trying to enter the region over the weekend, checking identification papers and turning away reporters and those with foreign passports.
When asked why CNN reporters were not allowed to pass, a police officer said: "Don't you know what has happened there? It's not safe and you must leave."
Chinese residents in a local village near the checkpoint told CNN that police forces arrived Thursday, two days earlier than expected because of the tense situation in Ganzi, which borders Tibet and is home to a population that is nearly 80% ethnically Tibetan.FULL STORY
The Dalai Lama said Saturday he'd like to visit China to pray with people injured in the earthquake that struck in the province where he was born.
The Dalai Lama, who in 1959 went into exile in India after an aborted Tibetan rebellion against Chinese rule, had expressed a wish to visit victims of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan that killed about 70,000 people. But he was not allowed to visit China then.