A Tibetan mother-of-two has died after setting herself on fire, rights groups
said, the latest in a wave of such protests against Chinese rule.
Chagmo Kyi, who worked as a taxi driver and farmer, set herself on fire in
Tongren county in China's northwest Qinghai province yesterday, the US-based
International Campaign for Tibet said in a release.
The incident was also reported by London-based rights group Free Tibet, which
identified the woman as Chakmokyi, a slightly different spelling.
Both groups said monks and others gathered after the death at a cremation site
amid what was described as a heavy security presence.
If confirmed, the latest incident would bring the total number of people who
have set themselves on fire in Tibetan areas to 13 since November 7 -- the day
before the start of a key Chinese Communist Party meeting in Beijing.
Telephones at Tongren's public security bureau and county government went
unanswered early today. A man who answered the phone at a household appliance
business said he had no knowledge of the incident.
Many Tibetans in China accuse the government of religious repression and eroding
their culture, as the country's majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves
into historically Tibetan areas.
China rejects this, saying Tibetans enjoy religious freedom. Beijing points to
huge ongoing investment it says has brought modernisation and a better standard
of living to Tibet.
The week-long Communist Party meeting concluded on Wednesday and the following
day the party unveiled its new top leadership with Vice President Xi Jinping as
party general secretary, succeeding President Hu Jintao.
Xi is set to replace Hu as president in March next year.
Since 2009, 69 people have set themselves on fire in protest at Chinese rule in
Tibet, of whom 54 have died, the India-based Tibetan government-in-exile had
said before the latest wave of incidents.