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Tibet-Tenzin-Gyatso-2015Dharamshala — Sources coming out of Tibet say a Tibetan, father of four set himself alight Wednesday, in Tawu County, eastern Tibet, in an apparent political protest against the Chinese hard-line policies in Tibet.

"The man, identified as Tenzin Gyatso, a 35-year-old Tibetan from Khangsar village in Tawu County self-immolated in an apparent protest against the Chinese government's continuing repressive policies in Tibet," Yama Tsering, a monk from South India told the Tibet Post International on Wednesday evening.

"Several Tibetans beaten up, detained on May 20, during the heavy paramilitary deployment at Tawu township, wearing riot-gear and armed with sophisticated weapons," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"It was not known whether he survived," but local sources said "it is believed to be in response to mounting pressure on the local Tibetan community in Tawu County."

"Gyatso set himself ablaze May 20, 2015 in Tawu County, Kham Region of North-eastern Tibet (Ch: Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province). The sources said "his condition and whereabouts were unclear."

"Police arrived shortly after the self-immolation and forcibly removed his body and No further details are available at present. Gyatso was the father of four (three boys and one girl). He was from Khangsar village in Tawu," Ven Tsering said.

Security in Tawu town has been tightened and all the communication channels are being restricted following the protest, he further added.

This incident brought the total verified number of self-immolations in Tibet to 139 since February, 2009 and and of them 118 were reportedly passed-away while the status of the rest remains unknown or critically injured.

The Tibetan self-immolators have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for the Tibetan people. Most parts of Tibet have suffered severe crackdowns and been under heightened restrictions and controls.

The Chinese government has blamed outside forces for the self-immolations, particularly His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration- regarded by China as a subversive.

But, Tibetans have denied such accusations, saying that the main cause of self-immolation is "Beijing's hard-line policies, including political repression, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, cultural assimilation and denial of religious freedom."

Chinese government says Tibet has always been part of its territory, but Tibetans say Tibet was virtually independent for centuries until Chinese troops invaded in the 1950s.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com