A man set himself on fire and died in China’s Sichuan Province in the first self-immolation protest among Tibetans this year, monitoring groups reported yesterday.
Tsekho Tugchak, reportedly in his 40s, died in Ngaba County on Wednesday amid intensified security in the restive region ahead of the anniversary of a 2008 anti-China riot and 1959 independence uprising in Tibet, the International Campaign for Tibet said, adding that his death was the 153rd self-immolation by a Tibetan since the protests began in 2009.
The Free Tibet Campaign and US-backed Radio Free Asia also reported the death, saying it took place in Ngaba’s Meruma Township.
In Beijing, Chinese Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region Wu Yingjie (吳英杰) dismissed the reports.
“I don’t think they’re telling the truth,” Wu told reporters at a meeting on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress annual session.
“If such self-immolations happened in the US, it really would not be that weird, but I can tell you that in Tibet, these kinds of self-immolation incidents do not happen,” Wu said.
The self-immolations by Tibetans monks, nuns and lay people 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.
The region is closed to foreign media, making it virtually impossible to confirm reported self-immolations.
Staff members reached at police headquarters, government offices and the local propaganda department in Ngaba denied having knowledge of the case.
China claims that Tibet’s traditional territory, including Ngaba, has been part of its territory for more than seven centuries.
Many Tibetans say they were essentially independent for most of that time and have protested what they regard as China’s heavy-handed rule imposed after the People’s Liberation Army’s battled its way into the Himalayan region in 1950.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and