Dharamshala: A 24-year old Tibetan man named Pema Gyaltsen (also known as Pegyal) self-immolated at around 4pm local time, on March 18, 2017, near Tsoga monastery in Nyagrong, Kham, eastern Tibet.
Sources have said “he called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and for freedom in Tibet at the time of self-immolation.”
The police reportedly arrived at the scene and immediately took away his charred body.
A minute-long video has emerged out of Nyagrong today, which shows a huge police presence at the self-immolation site.
It is reported that Pema Gyaltsen, an unmarried farmer is the lone breadwinner for his family of six-parents and four siblings.
Two sources from the Tibetan exile community said Gyaltsen was taken to a hospital in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. One source said he later died, but the other said his contacts in the region believed he was still alive in hospital.
A Tibetan exile source with contacts in the town said “around ten close relatives of Pema Gyaltsen from Nyagrong went to Kandze county police station to see self-immolator Pema Gyaltsen. But the Chinese beat them severely and detained them for the entire night, and forced them to stand up the whole night.”
There is a dearth of information flowing out of Nyagrong because of the communications crackdown and block on the use of WeChat in the region.
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay responded to the self-immolations saying, “I am saddened by the self-immolation. Another young Tibetan has sacrificed his life for the just cause of Tibet. It is a reminder that repression is continuing in Tibet under the Chinese rule and it is time the Chinese Government must heed to the calls of Tibetans in Tibet who long for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to Tibet. China must address the genuine aspirations of people in Tibet.”
This is the second case of self-immolation in Nyarong after the self-immolation death of 18-year-old Kalsang Wangdu in 2016.
Pema Gyaltsen is the 146th Tibetan to self-immolate in Tibet and first in 2017