Security intensified in Ngaba after former Kirti monk self-immolates

UPDATE February 17, 2014: According to Tibetan sources, Lobsang Dorje died in Barkham government hospital two days after his self-immolation. The family received a box of his ashes and were not informed of the cremation.

A former Kirti monk set fire to himself on February 13, on the main road near the monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county town, after attending a monastic mask dance that morning. Twenty-five year old Lobsang Dorje was still alive when he was taken away by police. Kirti monks in exile said: “As they were driving him away in the back of a pickup van covered with black canvas, he sat up and joined his palms, but the policemen pushed him back down. At present it is not known whether he is alive or dead, or where he has been taken.”

Lobsang Dorje, from Chukle Gongma nomadic area in Cha Ruwa, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) set fire to himself in the same street as Kirti monk Tapey, who was the first Tibetan in Tibet to self-immolate five years ago this month in February 2009.

Troops of armed police and special forces were immediately deployed in the town, in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Amdo.

Lobsang Dorje had joined Kirti monastery at a young age, but left after a few years, and joined his mother and younger brother running a car wash business in Darlag county, Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai. He returned to stay with his father in Chukle Gongma a few months ago, and attended the Monlam prayer festival at Kirti monastery, according to Kanyag Tsering and Lobsang Yeshe, Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala, India.

The previous self-immolation in Tibet, and the first of 2014, occurred on February 5 when a Tibetan man in his late twenties called Phagmo Samdup set himself on fire in Dokarmo town in Tsekhog (Chinese: Zeku) in Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai, the Tibetan area of Amdo, according to Tibetan sources. (ICT, Self-immolations by Tibetans).

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