Two Tibetans shot dead, another self-immolation, as China's dissent crackdown continues

Radio Free Asia reports that a 40-year-old Tibetan monk and his 38-year-old brother in Sichuan province were shot by authorities today, after participating protests against Chinese rule and calling for the return of the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

"The two brothers had been on the run for more than two weeks, and had been hiding in the hills in a nomad region when they were surrounded and fired upon."

In related news, yet another Tibetan monk is reported to have set himself on fire on Wednesday. Phayul identifies the monk here; it is not known whether he survived. A source who knows him describes him as "a kind and humble person who used to enjoy looking after pigeons."

That latest self-immolation took place at a monastery near the site of a large protest Wednesday, in which about 1,000 Tibetans marched to protest injustice under China.

RFA reports that in that protest, monks carried banners in the colors of the outlawed Tibetan flag demanding Chinese authorities "Respect the Tibetans—We are one in happiness and sorrow," and "Respect the Tibetan language."

Related news coverage: AP, NYT, Guardian.

The Gyalwang Karmapa is the latest figure within Tibetan Buddhism to make an unusual and unprecedented statement regarding the ongoing string of self-immolations and demonstrations inside Tibet. You can read the statement here. (HT: @marzinka)

Photo (RFA): "A Tibetan wearing a mask against the backdrop of protests in Nangchen county in Qinghai province, Feb. 8, 2012."