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New string of Tibetan self-immolations renews fiery protests of Chinese rule

Posted by The Agonist on October 29th, 2012

From our partners at The Agonist

McClatchy Newspaper, By Tom Lasseter, October 28

Beijing — Seven ethnic Tibetans in China set themselves on fire in a week’s time, bringing the number of self-immolations in defiance of Chinese government rule to about 60 since last year, according to announcements over the weekend by the Tibetan government in exile and an advocacy group.

The London-based Free Tibet rights advocacy group said the string of self-immolations, from Oct. 20 to Oct. 26, was the highest in a single week since the current spate began in March of 2011.

Six of the self-immolations reportedly resulted in deaths, a stark reminder that Beijing’s attempts to pacify the Tibetan areas in its domain have in many ways failed.

The Chinese government maintains that the acts of protest are part of a conspiracy linked to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959. But Tibetan groups say they’re a local reaction to an oppressive regime that’s worked to undermine traditional Tibetan culture, religion and language – a sentiment repeated to McClatchy by ethnic Tibetans during interviews over the past two years in areas where self-immolations have occurred.

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