Two teenagers die after setting themselves on fire; Toll reaches 104

18DHARAMSHALA: As two more Tibetans burned themselves to death in protest against the Chinese government in eastern Tibet on Tuesday, the Central Tibetan Administration today strongly urged the international community to apply meaningful pressure on China to allow independent observers to visit Tibet to investigate the escalating crisis.

Fresh reports coming out of Tibet say two teenagers – Rinchen, 17, and Sonam Dhargyal, 18 – set fire to themselves in Dzoge county in Ngaba, eastern Tibet (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province) on Tuesday.  They died on the spot.

Both of them have completed their primary schools at their native Kyangtsa village. Rinchen attended another school in Lunggu (Ch:Wenchuan) in Ngaba and was working in Qinghai. At the time of self-immolation, he was at his home for the Tibetan New Year.

This latest incident has pushed the total number of self-immolations inside Tibet to 104, including 9 this year. 88 have died. The self-immolators have called for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

The Central Tibetan Administration today organised prayer services across the world to express solidarity with all those Tibetans who have self-immolated for the cause of Tibet.

Addressing the prayer service in Dharamsala, Kalon Dolma Gyari said, in view of the escalating grim situation in Tibet, the international community should press China to open up Tibet to independent fact-finding missions and the international media to probe the root causes of the crisis.

Kalon Dolma Gyari reiterated that the Chinese government must address the underlying causes of the tragic self-immolations by Tibetans, rather than resorting to blame game.