Tibetan monk self-immolation death sparks protest in China
January 10, 2012 -- Updated 1020 GMT (1820 HKT)
A monk in New Delhi in this file picture stands next to an image of a Tibetan monk that self-immolated in Tibet.
- Thousands of Tibetans take to the streets in western China
- The march commemorated a monk who died after setting himself on fire
- A source in Darlag said the march was dispersed by police
- Self-immolations as a form of protest have become increasingly common in Tibet
Beijing (CNN) -- Thousands of Tibetans took to the streets in western China early this week to commemorate a monk who died Sunday after setting himself on fire, local residents and activists told CNN.
The monk, 40-year-old Nayage Sonamdrugyu, was from the Nyanmo Monastery in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Golog in Qinghai Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, adding he set himself ablaze at an intersection in the county seat of Darlag.
Holding flowers and candles and carrying photos of the monk, as many as 2,000 local Tibetans marched down the street Monday, according to prominent Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser.
A local supermarket owner in Darlag, who declined to reveal her name due to the sensitivity of the situation, said in a phone interview that Tibetans gathered in front of the local police station Monday to protest over the monk's death. Officers dispersed the crowd and a heavy presence of security remained in town Tuesday, she added.
If the government can show some mercy, there will be much fewer tragedies like this
Continuing a trend that began in 2009, activists say Sonamdrugyu's death was the third case of self-immolation by Tibetan monks in the opening days of 2012 to protest increasing Chinese oppression. Two other cases in nearby Sichuan Province left one Tibetan monk dead and the other seriously injured, according to Xinhua.
The news agency said Sonamdrugyu's body was returned to his family and officials were investigating the cause of his death.
Citing local sources, Woeser told CNN local residents were barred from entering the monk's former monastery, where the body lay, to mourn him.
"The strict control and severe suppression over religion in the region are depressing -- they leave no breathing space for the local Tibetans," Woeser said. "If the government can show some mercy, there will be much fewer tragedies like this."
CNN's calls to local authorities remained unanswered Tuesday.
In 2008 a violent unrest in Tibet and the subsequent military crackdown left at least 18 dead, and activists say tension has remained high in many areas since then.
China recently appointed Cui Yuying, the top propaganda official in the Tibetan Autonomous Region during the unrest, as a deputy head of the cabinet's information office.
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories