HUFFINGTON POST
04/01/2014 12:57 pm ET

This Buddhist Nun Is The 133rd Tibetan To Self-Immolate Over China

A Buddhist nun became the 133rd Tibetan to set herself ablaze in protest of China's rule over Tibet.

According to Liberty Voice, 31-year-old Dolma self-immolated near a monastery in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Kardze on Saturday. Found by locals, the nun was taken to a nearby hospital.

A young Tibetan monk named Tapey was the first to self-immolate as a form of protest over Chinese rule five years ago. In February 2009, the 24-year-old left the Kirti Monastery in Ngawa, in southwest China, and set himself on fire.

Over the years, 127 Tibetans inside the Chinese-ruled land followed his example, with another six self-immolating in Nepal and India.

In her book "Immolations in Tibet: The Shame of the World," activist and writer Tsering Woeser explains why such a gruesome choice has become part of the Tibetan protest movement.

"Self-immolators seek to protest in the most extraordinary manner by suffering what ordinary people could not possibly bear," Woeser writes in The New York Times. "If Tibetans saw even a sliver of an opportunity to hold demonstrations, then they would not resort to self-immolation."

China has reacted fiercely against the Tibetan protests, particularly self-immolations. As the CBC notes, Beijing severely tightened security, prosecuted those accused of encouraging acts of protest and blamed the Dalai Lama for "inciting" Tibetans to set themselves on fire.

AFP notes that March is always a tense month in the Tibetan community, as it commemorates the anniversary of the Dalai Lama crossing the Himalayas to flee Chinese persecution.

Dolma's self-immolation marks the third incident in a month. Two other Tibetans died in in Sichuan province on March 16.

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