[Posted: 14 Feb. 2014]
DHARAMSHALA: One more Tibetan has self-immolated in restive Ngaba region in northeastern Tibet (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province) to protest against the repressive policies of the Chinese government. The total number of self-immolation protest has risen to 126, including two this year. Meanwhile, a noted Tibetan writer based in Beijing, said the Sichuan provincial government had issued guidelines aimed at punishing family members and relatives of Tibetan self-immolators instead of addressing their grievances.
Dorjee, 25, a native of Gyabam Tukra village in Ngaba county, set his body on fire near Kirti monastery yesterday evening, according to media reports. He raised slogans protesting against the unjust policies of the Chinese government in Tibet.
Photos of the incidents show his body engulfed in flames and heavy deployment of riot police at the incident site. Dorjee’s current whereabouts and well-being remain unaccounted for. The Central Tibetan Administration will provide will further details when more information becomes available.
Following the incident, the Chinese government has deployed huge number of security forces in the region and restricted communication lines, said a source from the region.
Dorjee was a former monk of Kirti monastery in his childhood. He was working at a car wash shop in Golog earlier. He had recently returned to Ngaba to look after his family’s cattle herd. He has also attended the Kirti monastery grand prayer festival (Monlam Chenmo) recently.
The Central Tibetan Administration has repeatedly urged the Chinese government to end its political repression, religious persecution, cultural assimilation and economic marginalization and environmental destruction in Tibet to address the issue of Tibet. It has consistently appealed to Tibetans to not to resort to drastic actions including self-immolation.
The international community, including governments and parliaments, have also urged the Chinese government to end its repressive policies in Tibet and resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Years-long Punishments for families of Tibetan self-immolators
Authorities in Dzoge, a Tibetan county in Ngaba (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province) has issued guidelines aimed at punishing family members and relatives of Tibetan self-immolators, according to Tsering Woeser, a prominent Tibetan writer and rights activist.
The guidelines, issued in April last year, bar family members of self-immolators from travelling abroad or to the Tibet Autonomous Region for three years.
It restricts family members from applying for employment with the Chinese government or the military, and applications for loans or business licences in the three years following the incident would be automatically rejected.
The guideline also implied that farmland used by the self-immolators’ family would be forcibly returned to the government. Cash rewards were also offered for information about possible self-immolation protests.
The guidelines were issued amid increased clampdown on Tibetan monasteries in the region. Monasteries were barred from holding religious activities with outsiders and the financial accounts of the monasteries were severely scrutinised and audited.
Over the last two years, nine self-immolation protests have taken place in Dzorge county.