DHARAMSHALA: Reports coming out of Tibet say two more Tibetans have set themselves on fire yesterday in Zamthang in Tibet’s northeastern Ngaba region.
Choepak Kyab and Sonam, both in 20s, who belonged to nomadic herder families, set themselves on fire close to a local government office in Barma township near Jonang Gonchen Monastery in Zamthang.
Both of them reportedly died following the self-immolation. Local Tibetans managed to prevent the paramilitary troops from taking away the bodies of the two Tibetans. They then took away the bodies to the monastery to carry out prayers. The situation in the area remains tense following the deployment of a large number of military troops.
Earlier on 19 February this year, an 18-year-old Tibetan boy named Nangdrol died of self-immolation in Zamthang. Nangdrol, who cared passionately about Tibetan culture and language, used to urge his fellow Tibetans to be united and to preserve their culture, language and religious identity.
On 26 January, a 20-year-old Tibetan named Ogyen died of gunshot wounds after police opened on a crowd of Tibetans who were protesting against the detention of Tharpa. Tharpa, who is a schoolmate of Nangdrol, was arrested for pasting leaflets stating that the self-immolations were calls for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. He said the self-immolations would continue until the Chinese authorities met these demands.
Since March 2009, 35 Tibetans in Tibet have so far set themselves on fire calling for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland.