BEIJING (AP) — An overseas group says a Tibetan monk has died after setting himself on fire at a monastery in western China's Sichuan province.
The London-based International Campaign for Tibet said on Monday that 18-year-old Nangdrol self-immolated on Sunday after shouting slogans in favor of Tibetan independence and exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.
His death brings to at least 21 the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire over the past year to protest Chinese government policies over Tibetan society and the Buddhist religion. Chinese security has cut off access to Tibetan areas, making it virtually impossible to independently confirm such acts.
The Dalai Lama's supporters have issued statements discouraging self-immolation.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police have detained a Tibetan writer in a western county recently hit by anti-government protests, an overseas Tibetan news service reported, as China's crackdown against persisting unrest spreads.
More than 20 police took Gangkye Drubpa Kyab from his home in Serthar county's main town on Wednesday night and he has not been released, the Norway-based Voice of Tibet reported late Saturday. The report, which cited a Tibetan politician living in exile, said that when his wife asked for a warrant, police told her they wanted to talk with her husband.
Police and government officials in Serthar and in Ganzi, the Sichuan province prefecture that administers Serthar, either could not be reached by telephone Sunday or said they had not heard about the case.
Tibetans and the Chinese government in the region have been caught in a cycle of protest and repression that erupted into violent protests in recent weeks. More than 20 Tibetans have separately set themselves on fire to protest controls on Buddhist monasteries, long centers of anti-Chinese government sentiment, and other repressive measures over the past year.
In response, security forces have further tightened controls and increased arrests. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said last week that Chinese authorities had detained hundreds of Tibetans who recently returned from trips to India to attend teachings by the Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader.
In Serthar, also known as Seda, Tibetan protesters clashed with security forces last month, leaving at least two Tibetans dead. The government said the protesters had attacked a police station. It was not known whether Drubpa Kyab was involved in the protests.
A Tibetan writer living in Beijing, Woeser, said on her much-read blog that she was familiar with the 33-year-old Drubpa Kyab's writings. She said that he is a Serthar native and has been a teacher and writer there for the past 10 years.
He would be at least the second cultural figure to be detained in the latest wave of arrests, following the reported arrest two weeks ago of Dawa Dorje, described as a civil servant and advocate for promoting traditional Tibetan music and culture.