Tibetan monk dies after setting himself on fire

Beijing: A "former" Tibetan Buddhist monk died and another suffered injuries after they set themselves on fire in southwestern China as the Communist nation grappled with continuing trend of monks resorting to self immolation to protest curbs on laity and to demand the return of Dalai Lama.

One person was dead and the other injured after they set themselves on fire simultaneously in southwestern Sichuan province two days ago, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

A 22-year-old man set himself ablaze at around at a crossroad in Aba county in the Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. Police rushed to put the fire out and sent him to a local hospital, said a spokesman for the county`s government.
Another man, identified to be 18-year-old, died of self- immolation in a hotel room not far from the crossroad later.

The "injured man confessed that they conspired to commit self immolations," Xinhua quoted the spokesman as saying. An investigation by the local government showed that the two men were former monks from the Kirti Monastery in the prefecture who have resumed "secular life", it claimed.

The immolations have become a new trend of protests by monks in Tibet. So far 13 monks, including two nuns, burnt themselves or rescued while attempting to do so in public places in recent months.

One such incident was reported from Tibet and another from Nepal, where a Tibetan refugee attempted to commit suicide.

China blames Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for instigating the suicides. Most of monks who committed suicide hailed from Kirti monastery in Sichuan province adjacent to Tibet. The monasteries there houses hundreds of monks. One incident reported from Tibet itself.