In yet another self-immolation incident in Tibet, a 16-year-old male student recently set himself on fire, shouting: "Tibet wants Freedom. Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama come back to Tibet."
Sources told Radio Free Asia that the incident took place on 2 May in Gansu province in north-central China. Whether the teenager was alive was not known, the sources added, citing heightened security in the area following the incident.
One source told the radio station that the teenage student was identified as Chagdor Kyab from Bora Township in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Amdo. The boy set himself ablaze near Bora monastery in the township and was seen running towards Chinese government offices, but he fell down before reaching the offices.
Chinese police and military immediately arrived at the scene and extinguished the flames. They took the body away and cordoned off the area.
The source added that the boy belonged to a farmer family and his parents were identified as Dolma Tso – the mother, and Zoepa – the father.
This latest incident of self-immolation in protest of Chinese rule over Tibet is followed by two similar incidents in the recent past – one in March when a 24-year-old Tibetan farmer identified as Pema Gyaltsen set himself on fire and the other in April when an unidentified Tibetan monk self-immolated him on a busy street in west China.
A video of Chinese authorities extinguishing the monk on fire went viral and prompted the authorities to impose tighter security in the region.
According to local media reports, citing sources from Tibet, a total of 149 people have taken this extreme step since 2009 to press the Beijing administration to free Tibet and allow the return of their revered spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is living in India in exile. 125 of these people have died, while the fate of many others is still unknown.