With profound grief, I report that the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest against repression in Tibet is now reaching 100. In 2012 alone, 83 Tibetans self-immolated, and twenty-eight of these occurred within the single month of November.
Now in the new year of 2013, I am saddened to inform you that three Tibetans have set themselves on fire. The most recent self-immolation by Kunchok Kyab, 26 years old, occurred just a few days ago. Given this continuing tragic situation, I request my fellow Tibetans to not celebrate Losar (Tibetan New Year) with our usual festivities. Instead, when this year’s holiday falls on February 11, I ask you to perform only the customary religious rituals like visiting temples and making offerings. Do wear our traditional robe (Chuba) to display our identity and tradition. Kindly pray for all who have sacrificed their lives and for all who continue to suffer in occupied Tibet.
The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) continues to appeal to Tibetans to not undertake drastic actions, and still, self-immolations persist in Tibet. The universal demands of the Tibetans have been the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans. This is the aspiration of Tibetans and our sacred duty to support.