In the latest case of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule, a Tibetan man in Damshung (Ch: Damxung) in Lhasa prefecture reportedly set himself on fire Saturday afternoon. Sources say police took the man, who is believed to be in his early 20’s, to a county hospital. His whereabouts and condition is unknown.
Exile sources with contacts in the area say this incident is being talked about in QQ, a popular instant messaging service in China.
Damshung is about 162 kilometers north east of Lhasa. This is the third instance of self-immolation to have taken place in the Tibet Autonomous region. In late May, another two young Tibetan men set themselves on fire in front of the holy Jokhang temple in Lhasa.
43 Tibetans have self-immolated themselves since February 2009 in a spate of political self-immolations calling for return of the Dalai Lama and greater freedom for Tibetans.
Beijing says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country. But Tibetans in exile say protesters are driven to self-immolate because of Beijing's ongoing push against Tibetan culture and religion.