“Another Tibetan Nun Dies by Self-Immolation”

Apparently moving in thousands of troops to intimidate and beat people hasn’t remedied the situation (via NYT):

The death of the nun, Qiu Xiang, 35, was reported by Xinhua, the official news agency, and confirmed by exile groups, who gave her Tibetan name as Palden Choetso. She was the second nun in the predominantly Tibetan region to take her own life by self-immolation.

Like two previous cases, the most recent suicide took place in Ganzi Prefecture, known as Kardze in Tibetan, which is the site of several important Buddhist monasteries that have been under especially tight restrictions in recent months. Last week, a Tibetan monk, Dawa Tsering, set himself on fire during a religious ceremony at a monastery there.

Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet said the nun reportedly made a plea for religious freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader, as her robes went up in flames. Ms. Saunders, citing the account of a local Tibetan, said fellow nuns took the injured woman back to their monastery, where she died a short time later. The local Tibetan said the authorities had since locked down the area and sent troops into the nunnery, which is known as Ganden Jangchup Choeling.

According to exile groups, the atmosphere in Kardze has been tense since demonstrations against Chinese policies broke out in the region in June. Such illegal gatherings have continued, including an unusually bold gathering of thousands in July for the birthday of the Dalai Lama.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Japan last week, the Dalai Lama deplored the rash of self-immolations and suggested that the Chinese government make an honest assessment of what was driving so many Tibetans to such desperation. “It’s their own sort of wrong policy, ruthless policy, illogical policy,” he said.

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Filed under ethnic conflict, intimidation, Tibet

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