And then there were eight (via RFA):
Shouting “Freedom for Tibet,” a 19-year-old Tibetan set himself on fire in the Ngaba (Aba, in Chinese) area in China’s southwestern Sichuan province in the eighth self immolation protest this year.
Chinese police chased Norbu Dramdul as he ran in flames for a distance before they extinguished the fire, beat him up, bundled him in a police car and sped away, eyewitnesses said.
The condition of Dramdul, who lives in Ngaba’s Choeje township, is unclear. The incident took place just before noon in Ngaba town.
The latest self immolation protest came as Tibetans prepared for a day of fasting and prayers on Wednesday.
It is to display solidarity in the face of rising Tibetan protests against Chinese rule.
The Tibetan government-in-exile in India has called on the United Nations and “freedom-loving countries and people around the world” for increased attention to Tibet following the self-immolation protests.
“[The Dalai Lama] has said many times in the past that suicidal protests are not something he approves of or wants to encourage,” said Robbie Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies program at Columbia University.
“But he can’t put himself in the position of criticizing people’s right to protest, and he certainly can’t put himself in the position of saying these people don’t experience intolerable pressure … It’s quite clear that they do.”
“The obvious solution for this would seem to be for China to talk to the Dalai Lama,” Barnett said.
This one seems to have flummoxed China. How can they prevent this kind of protest? A few weeks ago I was in an area of Amdo a few hours north of Ngaba and met several Tibetans who had pictures of earlier self-immolations on their phones- the Tibetan community inside China seems quite aware of what’s happening.