Dharamshala: A prayer service to mourn the demise of two self-immolators in late March was organised today by the Central Tibetan Administration at Ghangchen Kyishong.
Although the identity of one of the self-immolators remains unknown, it has been confirmed by reliable sources that the self-immolation took place in front of Kyegudo’s police station in Tibet’s traditional Kham province. The other self-immolation was committed by 81 years old Taphun from Kirti, Ngaba county (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province) on 27 March 2022.
The prayer service was attended by Pro-tem Chief Justice Commissioner Karma Damdul, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Sikyong Penpa Tsering, Justice Commissioner Tenzin Lungtok, Kalon Changra Tharlam Dolma, Kalon Gyari Dolma, Kalon Norzin Dolma, members of the 17th TPiE, secretaries and the staff of CTA.
During the prayer service, Sikyong Penpa Tsering addressed the gathering on the biography of Taphun and the causes of his self-immolation.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of yet another self-immolation. However, we stand in solidarity in honouring their sacrifices for the greater cause of Tibet,” said Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration.
On 27 March, Taphun self-immolated in front of a police station located near Kirti monastery in protest against the Chinese government’s oppression. It was reported that the police took Taphun away after his self-immolation attempt. However, he died later in custody.
Over the past many years especially in March, the Chinese government has imposed heightened restrictions and repression in Ngaba county where frequent cases of self-immolations are reported. They have imposed almost complete censorship of communication so details about such protests often remain unknown for years at times.
81-year-old Taphun was a resident of Meruma nomadic village in Ngaba county. He was always vocal about China’s oppressive policies and inhuman treatment of Tibetans. On his 80th birthday last year, TaPhun had said, “It is certain that the sun of happiness will shine over Tibet due to the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tibetan millennials should not lose heart!”