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Young Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates in Protest

Young Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates in Protest

A young Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire in the Sichuan province of China on Tuesday, AFP reports. The teenage monk quickly set himself on fire as he walked towards a central government office. He is reported to have shouted slogans that no one could understand as he walked down the street. He quickly succumbed to the flames. His name was Lobsang Luzin, and he is one of 44 other monks who have self-immolated in China over the last three years in protest to the Chinese government’s control of Tibet.

Once news reached officials regarding the self-immolation, Chinese police forces started to make their way to the monastery in the area, but Tibetans successfully blocked a bridge to slow down their approach. The exiled Tibetan government fears that there will be a standoff between the two groups as tension rises.

China has a long history of quickly squelching any Tibetan rebellion to Chinese rule. Officials claim that lives have improved in Tibet due to Chinese rule, and that Tibetans enjoy complete religious freedom. Tibetans argue that they have been bereft of their true leader, the Dalai Lama, and that the Chinese government limits the movements and freedoms of Tibetan Buddhists.

A rash of large uprisings occurred in Tibet’s capital city of Lhasa in 2008, which caused Chinese officials to buckle down on the large city. Now it is virtually impossible for anyone to stage protests within the city walls. Two monks were successful at staging a self-immolation protest in late May of this year. The two monks self-immolated in front of a sacred temple but they were quickly dragged out of sight by security forces and the area was cleared of all evidence within an hour.

News of that protest still spread quickly, although officials only planned to buckle down on residents more thoroughly in the weeks that followed the protest. Many Chinese officials believe that self-immolations, such as Lobsang Lozin’s, are a form of terrorist attacks staged by the Dalai Lama, who has kept notoriously quiet on the subject of these protests.

A CNN report notes that many of the people that self-immolate in protest are often young or even teenagers, suggesting that a new generation of activists are tired of the Chinese government and do not want to maintain the same peaceful tactics employed by the Dalai Lama in the past.

Sadly, the extreme self-sacrifice of these protests are often quickly covered over by Chinese officials, who have not responded to these demonstrations with any sign of reform or change in political stance. In fact, officials are hoping to increase tourism to Lhasa in the coming months by investing over $4 billion into the area, AFP reports.

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Photo Credit: B_cool

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35 comments

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8:03AM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

China take away the rights of Tibet and force them to give up their identity and no other country on earth will help them because they are to big and rich. Sad, the monk is crying for help but no one does anything.

2:15PM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

:[

11:56AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Heartbreaking thanks for posting

11:41AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

What a strong person.

10:28AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

oh no. this is terrible. a beautiful young man so driven for justice, but finding none. i can't think of a worse death. i can't imagine the hearts that refuse to open after an act like this. how can the Chinese do what they are doing, watch these young men kill themselves in protest over the chaining of an entire country, and feel nothing?

i hate this violence, but i can see that this is much better than the other kind, where a suicide takes others with him to protest something. a bomb or a shooting. i know these monks are devoted to peace, but i can't bare the fact that they douse themselves in gasoline and set their bodies alight.
God bless the people of Tibet.

7:22AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Mongolia experiences similar atrocious treatment as Tibet from the regional government--can't the UN get China to stop valuing the atrocities?

12:14PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Setting yourself on fire is not the answer, you are only hurting yourself. I feel badly for all the people and the monks who have died over this.

10:19AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

A tragic end to a young life.

5:34AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

For those who can and can spare some cash please adopt a monk through the Tibetan community in other countries like India which can pay for their education as well as food and shelter so they can continue spreading the word of peace and survive no matter which country they live. If you have a chance to spend some time with any monk it will touch your heart like it did mine it changed me for ever.

3:13AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Every time I hear of this happening it breaks my heart. It will not change the actions of the Chinese Government, it will only make them even more hard set and restrictive against the Tibetans. No other countries seem to be willing to take up this cause against China either. These lovely and altruistic souls would do the world so much more good by living and sharing their spirituality. Even the Dalai Lama has said this, and does not favor this type of protest. It makes me exceedingly sad each time this happens.

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