January 09, 2012
According to yesterday’s reports from Tibet, on 8 January around 5 AM, Sonam Wangyal, a venerated spiritual figure, in Darlag county of Golok in Qinghai set himself on fire and succumbed to his injuries. Sonam Wangyal, a man in his forties, is said to have self immolated to protest the lack of religious freedom in his homeland. Due to his position as a local spiritual leader approximately 2,000 local Tibetans are said to have held a candlelight vigil urging the local police authorities to release his body. The local police averted further tension by agreeing to do so.
The Central Tibetan Administration will provide updates on the situation as more details become available. Meanwhile, the Chinese state news organ, Xinhua, confirmed the self-immolation by two Tibetans, of which one died, on 6 January in the vicinity of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, Sichuan.
In the last twelve months there have now been 15 cases of self-immolation in Tibet. All those who set themselves in fire have demanded the restoration of freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland.