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Two more young Tibetan monks from the Kirti monastery in Sichuan Province have set themselves on fire. It’s apparently in protest against the Chinese regime’s suppression of their religion and in the regime’s decision to appoint the next Dalai Lama.
Two Tibetan monks set themselves on fire on Monday—a protest against the Chinese regime suppressing their religion.
Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok—about 18 to 19-years-old—are from Kirti monastery in the Aba prefecture of Sichuan Province.
The London-based Free Tibet group said the monks allegedly called for religious freedom and cried, “Long live the Dalai Lama,” before they lit themselves.
Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden says this is the fourth self-immolation incident in six months—highlighting the growing desperation among young Tibetans in Tibet.
Despite the monks’ protests, the Chinese regime still maintains its control over religious freedom in Tibet. In a press conference on Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman denied the right of Tibetans to choose their own spiritual leader.
[Hong Lei, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman]:
“I want to point out that, the title of the Dalai Lama has to be conferred by the central government or otherwise it is illegitimate...The practice that a current Dalai Lama could appoint his successor does not exist."
Brigden explains why the Chinese regime wants to control the selection of the next Dalai Lama.
[Stephanie Brigden, Free Tibet Director]:
“The Chinese regime recognizes the huge influence that the Dalai Lama has inside Tibet and understand that they need to make every effort to break that influence.”
The current Dalai Lama, 75, has stated that no one, including the Chinese regime, has the right to choose his successor "for political ends."