DHARAMSHALA: Two monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet died after setting themselves on fire on Wednesday, taking the total self-immolation protests by Tibetans to 117. 100 of them are known to have died. (View fact sheet)
Lobsang Dawa, 20, and Kunchok Woeser, 23, set fire to themselves near the prayer hall of the monastery. They shouted slogans to protest the Chinese government’s repressive policies against Tibet. Both died on the spot.
The monks then carried their bodies into their rooms and offered prayers. The local authorities have ordered the monastery to immediately cremate the bodies next morning.
Both the monks joined Kirti Monastery at a young age and are known for their exemplary conduct and excellence in monastic studies.
The international community, including the UN and the EU parliament, have made clarion calls to the Chinese government to address the Tibetan people’s genuine grievances and end its policies which are pushing Tibetans to burn themselves to death in protest.
But the Chinese authorities have responded to the crisis with more repressive measures such as deployment of massive security forces in the Tibetan areas and meting out death and long prison sentences to Tibetans on trumped-up charges.
The universal call of the self-immolators is for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibet. The self-immolation protests persist despite the Central Tibetan Administration’s consistent appeals to Tibetans to refrain from taking drastic actions.