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    Aus PM asked to condemn China for firing at Tibetans

    Melbourne: The Australian government has been asked to step up its condemnation for China after the latter's security forces fired into a crowd of Tibetans during the weekend in a restive area of Sichuan Province.

    According to 'The Australian' report, the Australia's Tibet Council asked Julia Gillard to condemn the Chinese authorities for the incident.

    The firing occurred on last Saturday as people gathered in Dari in the Golog prefecture of Sichuan province to collect the body of the 16th monk to have set himself on fire since March last year.

    The immolations have become a new trend of protests by monks in Tibet against China's suppression of their culture and religion.

    After drinking and soaking themselves in kerosene, the monks set themselves alight, chanting demands for freedom and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama.

    A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, a longtime critic of China's actions in Tibet, said that he was "deeply concerned."

    "The government reminds the Chinese authorities that economic development should be complemented by protection of the unique linguistic, cultural and religious identities of China's minorities," the minister said.