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February 8, 2012
Tibet's government-in-exile, calls for worldwide vigils
DHARMSALA, India (AP) -- Chinese repression has lead to the self-immolations of nearly two dozen Tibetans and deadly clashes with Chinese authorities, the head of Tibet's government-in-exile said Wednesday.
"Tibetans inside Tibet are giving up their lives. They're saying, 'I choose to die,'" Lobsang Sangay, the leader of the self-declared exile government, said after an afternoon prayer vigil at the main temple in this Indian hill town.
China on Tuesday vowed to crack down on unrest in Tibetan areas and accused overseas activist groups and the Dalai Lama of fomenting the recent violence.
More than a dozen monks and nuns have set themselves on fire in ethnic Tibetan areas of Sichuan over the last year. Most have chanted for Tibetan freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
Early Wednesday, hundreds of Tibetan activists marched through the streets of New Delhi, calling for freedom for their homeland and decrying Chinese rule. The government-in-exile had called for vigils to be held Wednesday amid the immolations and clashes.
(33 images)



Tibetan monks and supporters throw dust in the air in honor of the dead monks and protesters self-immolated or killed in clashes with Chinese security forces during a vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Lobsang Sangay, the head of Tibet's government-in-exile, called for worldwide vigils on Wednesday, following a series of self-immolations and bloody clashes between Tibetans and Chinese forces. AP / Wally Santana


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Exiled Tibetans participate in a candlelight vigil to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet, in Dharmsala, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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A prayer book covered with a portrait of the Dalai Lama rests on the lap of an exiled Tibetan participating in a prayer session to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet, in Dharmsala, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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Lobsang Sangay, second right, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, prays with his cabinet members and other Tibetans during a prayer session to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet and to show solidarity to Tibetans inside Tibet, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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An exiled Tibetan participates in a candle light vigil to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Aijaz Rahi



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Exile Tibetans participate in a candlelight vigil to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet and to show solidarity to Tibetans inside Tibet, in Dharmsala, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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An exile Tibetan nun participates in a prayer session to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet and to show solidarity to Tibetans inside Tibet, in Dharmsala, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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Lobsang Sangay, right, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, stands next to a portrait of the Dalai Lama as he speaks after a prayer session to remember Tibetans who have died in Tibet and as a show of solidarity for those living in Tibet, in Dharmsala, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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An exiled Tibetan sits next to a banner showing Tibetans who purportedly immolated themselves in Tibet since March 2010, during a prayer session in Dharmsala, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2011. AP / Ashwini Bhatia



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A Tibetan exile participates in a rally to show solidarity with Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese police, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Tsering Topgyal



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Tibetan exiled monks participate in a rally to show solidarity with Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese police, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Saurabh Das



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Tibetan exiles march at a protest in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Mustafa Quraishi



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Exiled Tibetans dressed as Chinese soldiers act as though they are abusing Tibetans during a rally to show solidarity to Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese police, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Saurabh Das



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Exiled Tibetan monks participate in a candle light vigil to show solidarity with Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese forces, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Tsering Topgyal



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Tibetan exiles shout slogans as they attempt to break a police barricade near the Chinese Embassy at a protest against the Chinese government, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Mustafa Quraishi



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Exiled Tibetan monks wear black masks at a rally to show solidarity with Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese police, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Saurabh Das



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Exiled Tibetan monks participate in a candle light vigil to show solidarity with Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese forces, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Tsering Topgyal



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Tibetan exiles participate in a protest march, as a policeman keeps vigil in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Gurinder Osan



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Tibetan exiles participate in a rally to show solidarity with Tibetans who have either set themselves on fire or were allegedly killed by Chinese police, during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Saurabh Das



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Tibetan exiles chant slogans during a protest march in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Gurinder Osan



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Tibetan monks and supporters pray in honor of the dead monks and protesters self-immolated or killed in clashes with Chinese security forces during a vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Wally Santana



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Tibetan monks and supporters gather in honor of the dead monks and protesters self-immolated or killed in clashes with Chinese security forces during a vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Wally Santana



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Portraits of dead Tibetan monks who died from self-immolation are held up during a candle light vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Wally Santana



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A Tibetan supporter chants "Free Tibet!" during a vigil in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Wally Santana



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A Tibetan woman prostates at a monastery in Katmandu, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Tibetans in Katmandu organized a candlelight vigil for the victims of violence in Tibet that had to be cancelled due to security reasons. AP / Niranjan Shrestha



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A Tibetan monk is seen inside a Tibetan Monastery as Nepalese police stand guard outside the gate in Katmandu, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Niranjan Shrestha



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Tibetans offer prayers at a monastery in Katmandu, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Niranjan Shrestha



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Supporters of Tibet pray during a candlelight vigil in Tokyo Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Shizuo Kambayashi



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Supporters of Tibet pray during a candlelight vigil in Tokyo Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Shizuo Kambayashi



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Tibetans sit on a motor cart waiting for a lift outside a monastery after attending a religious ceremony at a monastery in Jiuzhaigou, in northwestern China's Sichuan province, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Andy Wong



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A Tibetan child holds a bottle of yogurt by a motor cart outside a monastery after attending a religious ceremony at a monastery in Jiuzhaigou, in northwestern China's Sichuan province, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Andy Wong



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Tibetans watch a monk perform a mask dance during a religious ceremony at a monastery in Jiuzhaigou, in northwestern China's Sichuan province, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Andy Wong



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Tibetan monks walk back into a monastery after performing a religious ceremony at a monastery in Jiuzhaigou, in northwestern China's Sichuan province, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Andy Wong



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