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Self-immolations continue in Tibet; two more die

November 20, 2012 20:34 IST

Tibetans agitating for the return of their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama continued to put pressure on China's new leadership with two more protesters burning themselves to death on Tuesday, taking the number of self-immolation attempts to over 80 in recent months.

Two Tibetan herdsmen had died in self-immolation in provinces of Qinghai and Gansu in northwest China, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Tsering Dongdri, 35, died after setting himself afire Tuesday morning near a remote gold mine in the bordering area of Amchok Township in Xiahe County of Gansu. The man was from a village of Amchok.

In a separate incident, in neighbouring Qinghai, a 25-year-old man was reported dead due to self-immolation.

The man, in Kangtsa Village, Salar Autonomous County of Xunhua, set himself ablaze in his monk brother's house after locking himself inside.

He was found dead by fellow villagers and his body was cremated two hours later, the report said.

The suicides picked up momentum in the run up to the week-long Chinese Communist Party's once-in-a-decade leadership Congress which concluded on November 14 and continued after new leader Xi Jinping took over as the head of the Party.

Though China played down the suicides routinely blaming the Dalai Lama and Tibetan separatists, observers in Beijing say the self immolations, which now had spread to the interior areas are having an emotional impact on the larger population of the Himalayan region.

Recent videos have shown large scale demonstrations in some towns protesting the Chinese rule.

UN Human Rights body has expressed concern over the recurring suicides and the general situation, which drew strong protest from Beijing.

Xi, expected to come up with new policy initiatives to ease tensions in Tibet, keeping up with his image as a liberal. The Dalai Lama too expressed such an expectation.

Earlier Communist Party officials hinted that a new round of talks could be initiated with the Dalai Lama's representatives to explore a common ground to restore normalcy in Tibet.

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