Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama

Patriotic Martyrs, by Jampel from HPeaks on Vimeo.

Tibetan singer Jampel has released a song and a video in tribute to Tibetan self-immolations, a form of radical political protest against Chinese rule.

The song, Patriotic Martyrs, is a tribute to 119 Tibetan monks and citizens who have set themselves on fire since 2009. The Tibet-watcher blog High Peaks Pure Earth explains that the lyrics contain "many references to fire and flames" as well as naming the first Tibetan person to burn himself to death in protest, Thupten Ngodup.

Ngodup, who set himself ablaze in April 1998 in New Delhi and died two days later, was mentioned in the last message of Lama Soepa who killed himself in 2012.

Sopea's message read: "To all the six million Tibetans - including those living in exile - I am grateful to Pawo Thupten Ngodup and all other Tibetan heroes who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet and for the reunification of the Tibetan people."

Beijing has often accused Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations.

The Chinese foreign ministry said: "Inciting self-immolations is the Dalai Lama's way of realising his separatist political scheme. It's the most cruel and inhumane criminal activity."

Tibet was occupied by Mao Zedong's forces in 1950. The Dalai Lama has been living in exile since a failed rebellion against Beijing rule in 1959.

In June, a rare visit to Tibet by the US ambassador to China, Gary Locke, sparked hope of a possible loosening of Beijing's control of the Himalayan region.

Locke urged local authorities to allow access to Tibet to foreign diplomats, journalists and tourists and underlined the "importance of preserving the Tibetan people's cultural heritage, including its unique linguistic, religious and cultural traditions".

Foreign media are banned from entering Tibet and Chinese police harass foreign journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.

French journalist Cyril Payen of France 24 TV was harassed and threatened by Chinese diplomats after a documentary he made on Tibet was broadcast.

A report by New York-based Human Rights Watch slammed Beijing's mass relocation of millions of Tibetans to what have been called "new socialist villages". It regarded the forced relocations as "extensive rights violations".

More than two million Tibetans have been relocated in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

China's policy to "build a new socialist countryside" in the Tibetan areas was launched by former premier Wen Jiabao in 2006.

There has been speculation that the new president, Xi Jinping, whose father was close to the Dalai Lama, would soften policy on Tibet.