DHARAMSHALA: Kunchok, a 42 year old father of two children, burned himself in an apparent protest against the Chinese government at Tsang Khor town in Gade, Golog (incorporated into China’s Qinghai Province).
The self-immolation took place on 16 September, according to media reports. However, information about his self-immolation emerged only on Saturday, apparently due to communication clampdowns imposed by Chinese authorities following the self-immolation protest. The family also did not want to put him or those who assisted him at risk of punishment by the Chinese authorities by reporting the incident at the time.
Kunchok burned himself in front of a police station in Gade county in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Eyewitnesses managed to douse the flames on his body during the self-immolation and took him to a nearby hospital.
A source from the region told media persons on condition of anonymity that “he is currently being treated at a hospital in Siling, the provincial capital.” However, the source revealed that his chances of survival are really slim as over 80% of his body had been critically charred.
“While he’s being treated, he often breaks down in tears over his failure to die in the self-immolation. He regrets not accomplishing what he planned to do,” the source added.
Kunchok is a father of two children, a son and a daughter. His son is a monk and his daughter is a nun at a local nunnery.
“The family members are currently in fear that Kunchok could be taken away by the Chinese authorities if he survives. If he does not survive, the authorities would also not return the body to the family,” the source said, explaining the family’s tragic situation.
With the latest self-immolation, at least 132 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest against the Chinese government since 2009.
The last reported self-immolation was of Lhamo Tashi, who died after burning himself on 17 September at Tsoe town.