The first self-immolation in the Tibetan region this year was reported Feb. 29 as a monk set himself ablaze in a Tibetan-majority area of Sichuan province. Kalsang Wangdu self-immolated near the Retsokha monastery in Kardze prefecture, calling out for Tibetan independence as he burned. He died on the way to a hospital in the provincial capital of Chengdu. That same day, Dorjee Tsering, an exile-born 16-year-old student, set himself ablaze at Lakhanwala Tibetan settlement in Dehradun district of India's Uttarkhand state. He survived but is in critical condition, with burns on 95% of his body, and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in New Delhi.
Tibetan exile sources say at least 114 monks and laypeople have self-immolated over the past five years, with most of them dying. Radio Free Asia puts the number of self-immolations at 144 since 2009. (RFA, AP, VOA, March 2)
Sources also say Tibetan woman was arrested by Chinese authorities in Sichuan's Ngaba prefecture for staging a peaceful symbolic protest. Mang-Ga, 33, the mother of a 14-year-old girl, took to the main street of Meruma Yultso town, carrying a portrait of the Dalai Lama. Police arrived at the scene within minutes and detained her. A large number of troops have since been deployed to the town. (Tibet Post International, March 2)