A Tibetan nun died on Thursday after setting herself on fire in southwest China, a rights group reported on Friday. She is the 11th Tibetan to have self-immolated so far this year.
Free Tibet, a group campaigning for an end to the 'Chinese occupation' of Tibet, said Palden Choetso was heard calling out "long live the Dalai Lama" and "let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet" before she self-immolated in Daofu town of Sichuan's Garzi district. Choetso is the second Tibetan woman to self-immolate in protest against Chinese rule.
"It is now evident there are many courageous young Tibetans who are determined to draw global attention to one of the world's greatest and longest-standing human rights crises, no matter what the cost to themselves," the group said in a statement.
Nine current and former monks and two nuns have set themselves on fire in southwest China (eastern Tibet) since March. On October 17, 20-year-old Tenzin Wangmo was the first woman to set fire on herself.
The first incident happened on March 16 when 21-year-old Phuntsog from Kirti Monastery set himself on fire in Ngaba town. It happened on the third anniversary of protests in Ngaba during which at least 13 people were shot dead by Chinese security forces. Phuntsog later died.
Last month, Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay expressed his concern about the incidents. "The incidents are a clear indication of the genuine grievances of the Tibetans and their sense of deep resentment and despair over the prevailing conditions in Tibet," he said. "It is therefore of the utmost urgency that every possible effort be made to address the underlying root causes of Tibetan grievances and resentment."
Chinese media, which is strictly controlled by the government, did not report on the incidents.
The Dalai Lama has resided in the Indian city of Dharamsala, which is now the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, since 1960 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet. Dharamsala is also referred to as 'Little Lhasa', referring to the capital of Tibet.