DHARAMSHALA: The Department of Religion and Culture, Central Tibetan Administration, today organised a prayer service for Norchuk who died after setting herself ablaze on 5 March 2015.
Hundreds of Tibetans including monks and nuns from monasteries and nunneries around Dharamshala and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration attended the prayer service. Prayers were also offered for all the Tibetan self-immolators and Tibetan political prisoners suffering continued incarceration in Chinese prisons.
Kalon Pema Chhinjor, who was officiating as the Sikyong, gave the condolence remarks at the prayer service. The prayer service was led by Ven. Ngawang Topgyal, a senior spiritual teacher at Namgyal monastery.
Norchuk, a 47-year-old mother of three children, set herself on fire in her village of Trotsuk, Ngaba County (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province) in an apparent protest against the Chinese government’s policies in Tibet. She was the first Tibetan self-immolator in the year 2015 and the fifth woman to do so from Ngaba County, where most of the Tibetan self-immolation protests against the Chinese government had taken place.
At least 136 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans. Out of the 136, 117 have died while the rest were critically injured or their whereabouts remain unknown to this day.