A Tibetan woman set herself on fire to protest Chinese rule over Tibet, and died on the grounds of a monastery on Tuesday in China’s Gansu Province. A day earlier, a young Tibetan monk set himself alight in the protest hub of Ngaba in Sichuan Province, and his condition is unknown.
Dolkar Tso, a 26-year-old mother of two, self-immolated near a stupa in Tso monastery in the city of Gannan, according to the Free Tibet activist group.
Other Tibetans who were near the monastery saw the woman burning. The Tibetans tried to put the fire out, and recounted how she shouted slogans for freedom in Tibet during the incident.
“She survived initially when the Tibetans put out the fire, and when the local monks arrived she called on them to hit her on the head with a stone and kill her so that the Chinese would not take her into custody alive,” the source said, according to the Radio Free Asia. She died as her family members were taking her home.
Dolkar’s death comes just one day after a Lobsang Tsultrim, a 21-year-old Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery in Sichuan Province, set himself on fire on the main street, which locals have renamed “Martyr’s Street,” in Ngaba.
“Local authorities drove him to the county hospital. He was removed after 30 minutes and his current wellbeing and whereabouts are unknown,” Free Tibet said, referring to Tsultrim. The group said he was “beaten by Chinese forces for taking part in demonstrations against Chinese rule in 2008.”
Dolkar is the 46th Tibetan to self-immolate since February 2009. According to Bhuchung Tsering, the vice-president of the International Campaign for Tibet, who testified on Capitol Hill in late July, 34 of them have died and the remaining 12 are missing or “hospitalized.”
“Instead of addressing the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities have responded to the self-immolations by increasing restrictions, torturing members of the self-immolators’ family or their acquaintances and taking several into custody without any judicial process,” Tsering said.
He added that as long as China is restricting the freedoms of Tibetans, they will “undertake actions to convey their feelings.”