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      Tibet: Monk Sets Himself on Fire

      A monk in Tibet set himself on fire and died, in an apparent protest against the Chinese government.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/15/2011, 7:04 PM

      A Tibetan monk burned himself to death in China’s Sichuan province on Monday, The BBC reported.

      According to the report, the monk set himself on fire in an apparent anti-Beijing protest. Activists told the network that the monk, whom they named as Tsewang Norbu, had shouted slogans including “long live the Dalai Lama” before setting himself on fire.

      The report noted that a similar action sparked weeks of confrontation earlier this year in another town in Sichuan.

      The unrest among Tibetans is fuelled by a widespread belief that the government is suppressing Tibetan culture.

      Many Tibetans have accused the Chinese government of forcing monks to attend re-education camps, encouraging the migration of Han Chinese to Tibetan areas, and crushing any sign of dissent.

      The authorities, however, say they have brought relative wealth and prosperity to a region that was a rural backwater.

      The UK-based Free Tibet movement confirmed Monday’s incident, saying in a statement that the 29-year-old monk had doused himself with petrol and set himself alight.

      A local hotel receptionist told the AFP news agency the monk had been handing out leaflets before setting himself on fire.

      The local government, meanwhile, has promised to investigate the incident, saying it was not clear why the monk had set fire to himself.