A Tibetan Buddhist nun named Qiu Xiang has burnt herself to death in south-west China. The 35-year-old doused herself in petrol and set herself alight on a road in Sichuan province. She is believed to be the eleventh ethnic Tibetan to commit suicide in this way since the start of the year.
The local government says that it is launching an investigation into Qiu Xiang’s suicide, but the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) says the self-immolation was a protest against Chinese rule. Qiu Xiang is believed to have called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet before she killed herself.
There have been signs of increasing anger in Sichuan this year as Tibetans become tired of the authoritarian Chinese rulers sent to keep order. Despite attempts by the government in Beijing to stamp down on such suicides, they continue to be a popular way for Tibetans to try to make their point.