Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tibetan Sets Himself on Fire in Nepal

A Tibetan exile set himself on fire in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on Thursday, the latest in a series of self-immolation protests against Chinese policy in Tibet.

Police say the man was dressed in monk's clothing and had a Tibetan flag wrapped around himself. He chanted "long, live Tibet," before setting himself on fire. Police say the man's friends quickly put out the flames, and the group left the scene.

The protest took place at the holy Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath.

In southwest China, 11 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March, demanding greater religious freedom and return of Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. A Tibetan exile also took part in a self-immolation protest in the Indian capital last week. At least five monks and two nuns have died in the self-immolations, Tibetan rights groups say.

China has blamed exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for inciting the violence and called the self-immolation demonstrations immoral. The Dalai Lama on Monday in Japan said hardline Chinese policies is the cause of a wave of self-immolations by Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. The Tibetan government in exile has denied encouraging the protests.

The United States said last week that China's policies have created tensions that threaten the unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people.

Most of the self-immolations have been centered around the Kirti monastery in Sichuan, where the first self-immolation took place in March. The action prompted a harsh Chinese crackdown in which the monks and nuns have been subjected to re-education programs and armed security forces patrol the surrounding streets."

More than 20,000 Tibetan exiles are living in Nepal, after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Nepal has prohibited demonstrations by Tibetan exiles and cracked down on such gatherings in recent years as part of its “one-China” policy.