Tibetans continue to self-immolate to protest China’s repression (Updated)


February 26, 2013 4:31 pm

Chinese police encircle local Tibetans marking the Tibetan New Year in Kumbum, eastern Tibet/Phayul Photo

DHARAMSHALA: The situation inside Tibet continues to remain grim as three more Tibetans set themselves on fire in the last two days taking the total number of self-immolations to 107.

A latest report coming out of Tibet say Sangdak, a monk of Dhiphu monastery, set himself on fire on a highway in Ngaba on Monday night. The police immediately extinguished the flame and took him to the local hospital. He was later taken away to an unknown location. His well-being and whereabouts remain unknown.

There are currently around 500 monks at the Dhiphu monastery.  

The situation in the area remain tense following the deployment of a large number of armed police.

In another incident on Monday, Tsesung Kyab, a Tibetan youth in his late twenties, set fire to himself outside the main temple of Shitsang Gonsar monastery in Luchu county in eastern Tibet’s Amdo province (incorporated into China’s Gansu Province). His body was taken to his home in Choekhor village for prayers. A large number of Tibetan pilgrims have gathered at the monastery at that time for a prayer service marking the last day of Tibetan New Year.

Earlier on Sunday, Phagmo Dhondup, a Tibetan youth in his early 20′s, set himself on fire at Jakhyung monastery in Bayan in eastern Tibet’s Amdo Province, where hundreds of Tibetans had gathered for a traditional prayer service. Monks tried to put out the flame and took him to a hospital. He succumbed his injuries at a hospital in Siling (Ch:Xining) on Monday night, reported International Campaign for Tibet quoted Tibetan sources in exile.

Since 2009, 107 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibet. 90 of them have died. (View fact sheet)

The international community, including the UN and the EU parliament, have strongly urged the Chinese government to address the Tibetan people’s genuine grievances and end its policies which is pushing Tibetans to take such drastic actions. But the Chinese authorities have responded to the crisis with more repressive measures. Despite repeated appeals from the Central Tibetan Administration not to take drastic acts, the self-immolations persist.