Tibetan monk sets himself on fire inside China temple, 108th to self-immolate
BEIJING (AP) - A Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire inside a western Chinese monastery recently singled out by the authorities as a hub of the grisly self-immolation protests striking the region.
The US-backed broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA) said on Sunday Sek Lobsang Thokmey, 28, was the 108th Tibetan to self-immolate in a string of protests against Chinese rule and religious restrictions starting in February 2009. His protest took place on the fifth anniversary of a 2008 government crackdown in the area in which police fired into a crowd, allegedly killing 10 people.
The monk set himself on fire on Saturday inside his room at the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province's mountainous Aba county, RFA said. Carrying a Tibetan Buddhist prayer flag, he ran toward the monastery entrance before collapsing and was rushed to hospital where he died, the report said.
A man who answered the phone at Kirti said the monastery was open to the public, but hung up when questioned about the self-immolation report. Calls to local government and police offices rang unanswered.