Burning Desire For Freedom

After 60 years of Chinese rule, some Tibetan monks have resorted to self-immolation. Where will their protests lead?

Shiho Fukada for TIME

Young Tibetan Monks in Kardze. Throughout greater Tibet, objection to Chinese rule have become increasingly nihilistic.

There are no flowers or memorials to mark the spot where Tsewang Norbu died. On Aug. 15, the 29-year-old Tibetan monk living in the remote Chinese outpost of Tawu gulped down kerosene, bathed his body in the combustible liquid and struck a match. As he burned in the center of town, Norbu shouted for freedom in Tibet and screamed his love for the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader. Two and a half months later, under the cover of night, I visit the bridge in Tawu (or Daofu in Chinese) where Norbu ended his life. The town is under virtual lockdown....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!