Exiled Tibetans pay homage to self-immolated martyr in Dharamsala with candle light vigil

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 05, 2012 08:30 hrs

Exiled Tibetans residing in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh,held a candlelight vigil to express solidarity with a farmer, who self-immolated himself in Tibet, owing to the repressive policies of the Chinese government on their homeland.

A 25- year old Tibetan farmer Lhundup Dorjee died after self-immolating himself on Sunday outside a hotel in Tibet.

Earlier, a 24-year-old Tibetan farmer, Lhamo Tseten, had died on October 26 from self-immolation near a military base and a government office. Later, Tsepag Kyab, 21, also set fire to himself and died.

Vice President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Nyima, said they have all gathered to demonstrate peacefully against repressive policies of Chinese government.

"Today, a Tibetan self-immolated himself in Tibet. He was 25 years old. We have organised a candlelight vigil to extend solidarity and we heard this news today, it was disheartening. We have gathered here for a candlelight vigil," she said.

The status of Taiwan and the human rights situation in Tibet is a contentious political issue for China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province to be eventually unified with the mainland.

Tensions over Tibet are at their highest in years after a spate of protests over Chinese rule and self-immolations by Tibetan activists, which have prompted a Chinese security crackdown.

The surge in self-immolations in China in protest over its rule in Tibet has heightened tension in recent months.

Indian-based rights groups said there had been a massive security clampdown in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China, and in some instances protesters were beaten even as they were ablaze.

China has branded the self-immolators "terrorists" and criminals, and has blamed the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, for inciting them.

China rejects criticism that it is eroding Tibetan culture and faith, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region.

China has ruled Tibet since 1950, when Communist troops marched in and announced its "peaceful liberation".

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising, has accused China of "cultural genocide". Beijing considers him a separatist and does not trust his insistence that he only wants greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.(ANI)

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