A 17-year-old girl set herself on fire Sunday evening to protest Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.
Witnesses say Wanchen Kyi shouted slogans in support of the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet as she was engulfed in flames. She set herself on fire in Dokarmo nomadic area of Tsekock County, Rebkong Prefecture in Qinghai Province. Wangchen died at the scene of the protest.
More than 3,000 Tibetans and monks later gathered at the site of the self-immolation protest and recited prayers.
Sources say two trucks of Chinese armed police arrived and forcibly dispersed the gathered crowd and asked them to return to their homes. Wanchen Kyi’s body was cremated around midnight. She is survived by her father Sonam Tsering and mother Sermo, and two other siblings
A day earlier, two young monks also died after setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule.
Ninety-five Tibetans have now self-immolated since 2009, with 28 cases reported in November alone.
More than 16 Tibetans have self-immolated from Amdo Rebkong, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibet.
Following the recent incidents of alarming number of self-immolations by Tibetans in protest of the Chinese rule, the United States has urged China to address the issue of human rights violations in Tibet.
Maria Otero, the U.S. State Department’s Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, issued statement last Wednesday, saying Washington was “deeply concerned and saddened” by the increasing frequency of Tibetan self-immolations.
“Chinese authorities have responded to these tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans,” she said.
“We call on the Chinese Government to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully, and without fear of retribution….We call on the Chinese Government to Chinese government to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions,” Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issue Otero said.