A Tibetan woman set herself on fire around 3:10 PM today and died at the scene in front of Jonang Dzamthang monastery in Barma township of Zamthang county, Ngaba Prefecture in eastern Tibet (Chinese: Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province).
Rikyo, a mother of three, is believed to have been 33 years old. Her self-immolation is the fourth to have occurred in the small town of Dzamthang.
Rikyo was a neighbor of the three young men who had self- immolated earlier this year in February and April. Reports say the January's killing of a young man in Dzamthang by security forces may have been one of the catalysts for these self-immolations.
The latest self-immolations bring the number of Tibetans who set themselves ablaze in Ngaba prefecture since March last year to 26. There have been 38 such protests throughout Tibet since February 2009.
According to exile sources, the Tibetan areas of Sichuan province had been seething from decades of abuse and repression. This latest incidence comes three days after the twin self-immolations that took place in Lhasa, which represented a major escalation in the scope of these protests in Tibet’s capital which had been under intense security since 2008.