BEIJING – Tibetan monitoring groups say a man has set himself on fire and died in western China's Sichuan province in the first self-immolation protest among Tibetans this year.
The International Campaign for Tibet said Tsekho Tugchak, said to be in his 40s, died Wednesday amid intensified security in the restive region ahead of the anniversary of a 2008 anti-China riot and 1959 independence uprising.
ICT said his death marked the 153rd self-immolation by a Tibetan since the protests began in 2009. The Free Tibet Campaign and U.S.-backed Radio Free Asia also reported the death.
The self-immolations by Tibetans monks, nuns and laypeople aim to highlight harsh Chinese rule and the oppression of Tibet's Buddhist culture, as well as appeal for the return of exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.