A Tibetan woman became the 142nd Tibetan in Tibet to self immolate in protest of the rule and actions of the Chinese government Thursday night.

The woman, Tashi Kyi, whose age is unknown, self immolated in Ngulra, Gansu Province, eastern Tibet. She died later that night.

The self immolation followed the arrival of 150 police and officials in Ngulra who then began demolishing houses there with bulldozers.

One source reported that the reason given by officials was that the houses did not have valid permits. A number of the house-owners protested, with some physically hanging on to the demolition equipment. Ngulra residents believe Tashi Kyi’s self-immolation was motivated by witnessing the destruction of her village.

“Bulldozers are a suitable symbol of China’s rule in Tibet,” commented Free Tibet director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren.

“Tibetans’ land is no longer their own and land grabs and destruction of Tibetan property by the authorities are common occurrences. They are also a frequent trigger for protests. Local objections rarely deter the authorities from their actions, however, and protests are frequently met with arrests and violence. There are many causes of self-immolation protests but punishing Tibetans for expressing their legitimate grievances is certainly among them.”

Information supplied by Tibet Watch.

Edited by Justin Munce