Tibetan self-immolates as activists mark 100 years since independence from Manchu dynasty rule


An exiled Tibetan monk sets himself on fire at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu on February 13, 2013. A Tibetan monk doused himself in petrol in a Kathmandu restaurant and set himself on fire, marking the 100th self-immolation bid in a wave of protests against Chinese rule since 2009.

As Tibetans marked their "independence day" — a 100-year-old declaration of independence from China — on Wednesday, a Tibetan monk reportedly doused himself in gasoline in Kathmandu and set himself on fire.

According to Agence France-Presse, it marked the 100th self-immolation bid as part of a protest campaign against Chinese rule in Tibet since 2009.

Police spokesman Keshav Adhikari told AFP that the Tibetan man burned himself in full view of terrified tourists in a restaurant near Kathmandu's Boudhanath Stupa, one of the world's holiest Buddhist shrines.

The New York Times reported the existence of photos showing the monk engulfed in flames and black smoke. 

According to Radio Free Asia, Tibetan independence was proclaimed by Tibet’s 13th Dalai Lama on Feb. 13, 1913 following a period of rule in the Himalayan region by China’s Qing (Manchu) dynasty.

Almost four decades of self-rule followed, until Chinese troops invaded in 1949.

A protest and flag Tibetan raising ceremony organized by Tibetan rights groups including Students for a Free Tibet and the US Tibetan Committee is planned in front of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations at St. Vartan’s Park in New York.

The man who set himself alight in Kathmandu was taken to the hospital in critical condition, police said. 

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