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article image17-year old Wangchen Kyi, latest self-immolation victim in Tibet

By Can Tran     Dec 11, 2012 in World
The body count for self-immolations in Tibet in protest of oppression by the Chinese government. The self-immolation of a 17-year-old girl is the latest report.
In the case of the ethnic Tibetan region, located in western China, the latest reports of self-immolations can be concerning to the Free Tibet movement, human rights organizations, and the international community. The issue of Tibet has been a shaky international issue. Any attempt to reaching out in favor of Tibetan freedom endangers the relationship anybody or any country has with China. Native Tibetans, who feel oppressed by the Chinese government, have taken to self-immolation. For those that don't know what it means, they set themselves on fire. This is a means of protest. Self-immolation has been a most used form of protest.
An event of self-immolation in Tunisia a few years ago became the catalyst of the domino effect known as the Arab Spring. The current situation that's taking place in Syria at the moment is a result of the Arab Spring's effect. The same thing can apply to what's going on in Egypt as well.
According to activists, 90+ have immolated themselves in protest against Chinese occupation. As a result, it has made tensions between the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Chinese government more volatile. The latest case of self-immolation is 17-year-old Wangchen Kyi. On Sunday evening, on December 9, Wangchen self-immolated while wishing a long life for fellow Tibetans and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
Since Wangchen is 17, she is considered a minor. As a result, this makes Wangchen the 8th minor to result to such an act. The youngest to self-immolate is a Buddhist monk named Dorjee who was 15 at the time.
These self-immolations have caused concerns for the Chinese government. It has gone far to accuse the Dalai Lama of being the cause of these events. However, the Tibetan government-in-exile has fired back at the Chinese government and deny being the ones to blame.
China, in response to self-immolations, is planning to do the following: charge anybody with murder if they immolate themselves or have anything to do with it. Self-immolations will be classified as an illegal act that carries criminal penalties. So far, the Chinese government is saying that committing suicide and self-immolating are two completely different things. In the case of the latter, the Chinese government says it's a tool to split the nation.
The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is also taking action. So far, it is firing back at the accusations by the Chinese government. According to the CTA, it's inviting authorities of the Chinese government to come to Tibet and see things for themselves.
As December 10 was known as International Human Rights Day, many things have happened. In the case of a UNESCO event in Paris, France, it was revealed that the UN unveiled an educational fund called the “Malala Plan” to get more girls into school by the end of 2015. In the case of Tibet, pro-Tibet supporters demonstrated in front of the United Nations building in New York City.
Tibetans across the world are appealing to world leaders to do something about the situation.
One decided to make a video message to United States President Barack Obama.
Some made video messages to Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper.
Another made a message to First Minister Alex Salmond of Scotland.
There's one made to British Prime Minister David Cameron.
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