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[File photo] AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia

Eighth Tibetan man sets himself on fire in protest in China

The 19 year old reportedly called out “Tibet needs freedom” as he set himself alight.

A FORMER BUDDHIST monk has set himself on fire in a town in western China – the eighth such protester to carry out self-immolation this year.

Nineteen-year-old Norbu Dathul set himself alight in the market town of Aba, according to the London-based group Free Tibet. It’s reported that he called out “Tibet needs freedom” and “his holiness the Dalai Lama must return”.

The flames were extinguished by Chinese police, and Free Tibet says that Norbu Dathul’s well being and whereabouts are unknown.

Last month two monks were unjured when they set themselves on fire in Aba, in protest over China’s tight rein over Buddhist practices.

Aba has been the scene of numerous protests over the past several years against the Chinese government.

Most are led by monks who are fiercely loyal to Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled the Himalayan region in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule and is reviled by Beijing.

Free Tibet said that the “international community has failed the Tibetan people in their 60 years struggle for freedom. We must now hold China accountable for its gross human rights violations in Tibet and demonstrate a genuine determination to end this oppression”.

- Additional reporting by AP

Read more: Tibetan monks injured in self-immolation protest over Chinese rule

Read: Tibetan monks jailed over immolation death

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