A teenage Tibetan nun is the latest to die after setting herself on fire to protest Chinese occupation of her traditional lands.
Tenzin Choedon, 18, set herself ablaze outside the Dechen Chokorling Nunnery (also known as Mamae Nunnery), where she was a resident, the group, the activist group Free Tibet said in a statement on its website.
The teen nun from Ngaba Town was one of about a dozen people who have died from self-immolation so far, Free Tibet said, adding that 18 Tibetans have set themselves on fire over the past year to protest Chinese policy toward their country. Likewise, Tenzin was calling out anti-China protest slogans as she did it, according to Free Tibet.
“Soldiers and police came immediately and took her away,” Free Tibet said. “Soldiers then surrounded the nunnery and sealed it off.”
The protesters are also demanding the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since 1959, the Associated Press said. Choedon’s nunnery is known for its fierce loyalty to the Dalai Lama, said the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), in a statement confirming the young nun’s death.
ICT said Choedon self-immolated at the same spot where a fellow nun, 20-year-old Tenzin Wangmo, set herself on fire last October.
“As a child Tenzin Choedron went to primary school in Cha township for three years, and after that became a nun at Mame nunnery,” ICT said in a statement. “There are 12 members in her family, and she is the eldest of four brothers and sisters. She spoke little, followed the rules, studied hard, and got excellent grades, so she was smart as well as brave.”