Buddhist stupa and houses outside the town of Aba, Sichuan Province, where over half of self-immolations in the past four years have taken place. Image credit: Wikipedia.
Following the depressing/horrifying landmark 100th self-immolation since 2009 that occurred this month, two Tibetan teenagers in Aba prefecture, Sichuan province, died after setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule.
The former primary school classmates were named as 18-year-old Sonam Dargye and a 17-year-old identified by US-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) only as Rinchen.
They died on Tuesday in Aba prefecture, a Tibetan area of Sichuan province in southwestern China, RFA said, where a wave of the gruesome acts have occurred.
The self-immolations followed the reported death on Sunday of 49-year-old Namlha Tsering in the middle of a busy street in Xiahe county in the northwestern province of Gansu, RFA added.
Chinese authorities have sought to shift blame away from themselves for the spate of self-immolations in ethnic Tibetan areas of the country. In late 2012 police began arresting individuals they accused of ‘inciting’ others to set themselves on fire. This month, CCTV aired a documentary which accused the Voice of America of encouraging the horrible protest suicides.