Tibetan Father of Four Self-Immolates in Protest in Sichuan

A Tibetan man living in western China’s Sichuan province set himself ablaze on Wednesday, 20th May to protest Beijing’s rule, bringing to 140 the number of self-immolations in Tibetan areas of China since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009.

Tenzin Gyatso, 35, self-immolated at around 8:00 p.m. on May 20 in the Khangsar township of Tawu (in Chinese, Daofu) county in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He reportedly staged his protest near a bridge close to official government buildings in Khangsar. 

Local Tibetans believe that Gyatso, who has a wife and four children, became upset when security forces were sent to Khangsar to prevent celebrations of the 80th birthday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Following Gyatso’s protest, additional numbers of security personnel were deployed in Khangsar, and restrictions on movement and communications have been imposed in the area, sources said.

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