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Delhi: Tibetan youth sets himself on fire in protest

By Priyanka
Last updated on: March 26, 2012 17:07 IST

A Tibetan youth on Monday set himself on fire at a protest meet of the Tibetan Youth Congress at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

About 1,000 Tibetans had gathered to mark the hundredth anniversary of Tibetan government's 'declaration of war' against the Chinese army that was stationed in Lhasa.

Pamphlets being distributed at the venue said that the Chinese army had then gone on a rampage, destroying and burning down houses and monasteries in Eastern Tibet.

Consequently, on March 26 1912, a fight ensued between Tibet and the Chinese army in Lhasa. The Chinese later retreated and Tibet became 'independent'.

At the protest meet, the leaders of the Tibetan Youth Congress urged the community members to stay united and work together to 'restore Tibet's independence.'

They also protested against Chinese premier Hu Jintao's visit to India, saying that the leader is 'not welcomed in India.'

Just as the speech was being delivered, a young member of the Delhi chapter of Tibetan Youth Congress set himself on fire. Eyewitnesses said that he first set his foot on fire, and as he ran, his body was engulfed in blaze. He was soon rushed to a hospital.

Tenzing Norsang, the joint secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress, said they could not confirm the identity of the youth, and were working on police formalities. However, unconfirmed reports stated the youth's name is Jamyang Yeshi.

Norsang, however, pointed out that there have been several instances of young Tibetans youth setting themselves on fire recently. In fact, 30 Tibetans, mainly in their early 20s, had self-immolated since February 2009 at various locations. Out of these 22 have died instantly, he said.

Tsering Kyia, a 20-year-old student, died after she set herself on fire on March 3 in Machu County of Eastern Tibet. A few days before she died, she reportedly told a fellow student that Tibetans were self-immolating in Ngaba and Eastern Tibet in order to draw the attention of the world to what Chinese suppression was doing to Tibet.  

Priyanka in New Delhi