Tibetan monk dies of self-immolation in SW China

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 17, 2011
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A young monk died early Thursday, more than 10 hours after setting himself on fire in the Aba County of Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China's Sichuan Province, the local government said.

Rigzin Phuntsog, 16, set himself on fire at around 4 p.m. Wednesday, a county government spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

Local authorities wrongly identified the monk as another Tibetan, a 24-year-old from the neighboring village who goes with just one name, Phuntsog.

Rigzin Phuntsog, a native of Aba County, became a monk at the Kirti Monastery in 2005. He had a history of epilepsy, the spokesman said.

The official blamed Rigzin Phuntsog's death on treatment delays.

"Shortly after he set himself on fire, a policeman on patrol found him, put out the flames and rushed him to a nearby hospital," the spokesman said.

"But a group of monks from the Kirti Monastery forcibly took him out of the hospital later in the afternoon and hid him inside the monastery, regardless of his injuries," he said.

After long hours of negotiation, the monks allowed Rigzin Phuntsog's mother to take him to hospital. He died at the county hospital early Thursday morning, spokesman said.

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