Dharamsala: A teenager died in the 70th case of immolation since January 2009 in Tibet as thousands of Tibetans protested here Sunday against Chinese rule.
Tibetans living here said the person immolated himself Saturday in Gansu province, the seventh such case in four days, taking the total number of deaths by burning since 2009 to 70.
On Sunday, thousands of Tibetan exiles gathered here to mourn those who have died protesting in the land of their origin.
“China’s new leaders must recognise that their hardline policies in Tibet have utterly failed and only through dialogue can a peaceful and lasting solution be found,” said Lobsang Sangay, the elected leader of the Tibetan people.
Sangay, the political successor to the Dalai Lama, said: “We firmly believe that an end to repression will effectively end the cycle self-immolation.”
Lobsang Choedak, the Central Tibetan Administration spokesperson, said: “The situation in Tibetan-dominated areas is very, very tense. Tibet is literally burning again.”
He said the Chinese had launched a massive crackdown on Tibetans.
“Whatever information we have suggests that the situation is quite grim and needs immediate global intervention,” Choedak said.
Tibetans have been demanding the return of the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, and freedom from China.
The Tibetan leadership has clarified that it has discouraged “drastic action” against Chinese rule.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet with many of his supporters and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved into Lhasa in 1959. India is home to around 1,00,000 Tibetans.