Two Tibetan teens set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule

LONDON, Oct. 8 (UPI) —
One of two Tibetan teens who set themselves on fire Friday near a monastery in China to protest Chinese rule has died, activists said.
Free Tibet, based in the United Kingdom, said the teens were both thought to have been former monks at the Kirti Monastery in China’s Sichuan province, the BBC reported. The organization said there have been seven self-immolations in the Sichuan province in southwestern China since March — six of them by monks at the monastery, the site of anti-China protests in 2008, The New York Times reported.
The two young men set themselves on fire in the street in an area that’s home to a large ethnic Tibetan community. One of the two, identified as Choepel, 19, died at the scene. The condition of the other, identified as Khayang, 18, was not known.
Free Tibet said dozens of monks appear to be ready to kill themselves, the Times reported. The group said in a statement rumors had been circulating in the region, known as Aba or Ngagba in Tibetan, that many more people were prepared to give up their lives in protest.
It is now evident there are many courageous young Tibetans who are determined to draw global attention to one of the world’s greatest and longest-standing human rights crises no matter the cost to themselves, said Stephanie Brigden, Free Tibet’s director. The international community can no longer stand silent in the face of the ongoing violent Chinese state repression of the Tibetan people. It’s time to stand up and be counted.
Free Tibet said Choepel had been expelled from the monastery after another monk set himself on fire in March. It was unclear why Khayang had left, the BBC said.