A 38-year-old Tibetan monk of Bongthak Monastery died of self-immolation Friday in eastern Tibet. Dhamchoe Sangpo self-immolated in protest against religious restrictions imposed on Tibetan monks, says Tibetan exile sources.
Reports say conflicts arose after Chinese authorities barred Bongthak monks from observing an important religious event.
Bongthak Monastery in Sichuan Provice
Sangpo studied in Drepung Monastery in South India in the 1990s. He served as a religous teacher after his return to Bongthak Monastery.
More than 20 people have burned themselves since March last year in desperate protests against China's growing repression of Tibetans.
The recent immolations that have taken place mark a dramatic escalation in the tactics opposing Beijing’s rule, and the Chinese government has been very critical of the actions.
The Chinese government has condemned the self-immolations, calling them a form of terrorism. Beijing has also accused Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of supporting such acts.
The Dalai Lama has denied encouraging self-immolations. In an interview with the BBC television last year, the 76-year-old Buddhist leader said those who set themselves on fire were brave, but that their sacrifice was not wise because it resulted in a tougher crackdown by the Chinese authorities.
The Dalai Lama fled into India in 1959 and has lived in exile for more than 50 years after fleeing a failed revolt against Chinese rule in Tibet.
Tibetans have long sought greater freedom from Beijing's rule, with some seeking complete independence and others wanting greater autonomy within China.