Public Service EuropePublished online September 14, 2012 by Public Service Europe.
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By: Vincent Metten

On February 27, 2009, a Tibetan monk in his twenties called Tapey walked out of his monastery alone to a nearby crossroads. He then doused himself in kerosene and set himself on fire. Since then, more than 50 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet – including a 19-year old female student, a widowed mother of four and a reincarnate lama in his forties. This constitutes one of the biggest waves of self-immolation as political protest globally in the past 60 years. The self-immolations have raised the stakes in Tibet, both in terms of increased global attention and in the context of a year of unprecedented generational change in the leadership; culminating with the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party, expected this autumn.

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