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Rediff.com  » News » 14-year-old Tibetan sets himself on fire in China

14-year-old Tibetan sets himself on fire in China

November 15, 2012 18:46 IST

A Tibetan teenager on Thursday committed self-immolation even as China unveiled its once-in-a decade new leadership, led by Xi Jinping, to rule the country.

This is the ninth suicide to have taken place since the week-long 18th Communist Party Congress started its session to elect its new leader on November 8.

The incident took place in northwest China's Qinghai Province, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Karpongya, 14, set himself on fire at about 12.10 pm in the Gartse Township of Tongren County in the Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefecture.

Over 70 people have committed suicide in Tibetan areas to protest Chinese rule and seek the return of Dalai Lama.

Though Chinese officials routinely blame Dalai Lama and Tibetan separatist forces for the self immolations, the situation continues to be tense, with demonstrations and protests despite the deployment of heavy security forces.

In his recent interviews, Dalai Lama has expressed hope that Xi, whose father he knew, would adopt a more reconciliatory approach towards the Tibet issue and step up the dialogue process.

The dialogue between Dalai Lama and the Chinese government has not progressed even after the spiritual leader accepted Tibet as part of China.

Chinese officials say that his demand for the integration of all Tibetan areas with broad autonomy, barring foreign and defence subjects, is not acceptable.

K J M Varma
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