Tag Archives | self-immolation

Brave solo protests show Tibetans’ remarkable courage and steadfast loyalty to the Dalai Lama

October 11, 2018

  • Peaceful solo protests last month by three monks in the Tibetan region of Amdo who have now disappeared are the most recent occurrences of an act of remarkable courage that has become a trend in eastern Tibet since around 2014. This trend seems linked to a wish by protestors to make a strong statement about freedom and loyalty to the Dalai Lama without undertaking the more extreme act of self-immolation.
  • Most of the solo protests documented by the International Campaign for Tibet have occurred in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), Sichuan, since 2014—the same area where the wave of self-immolations began in 2009 when Tapey, a monk of Kirti Monastery, set himself on fire. Not only were most of the self-immolations carried out in the same county town, but also in the same road—which has come to be known as Heroes, or Martyrs, Street—by monks from the same monastery.
Read full story Comments are closed

Tibetan man dies after self-immolation; oppressive measures intensified in March 10 anniversary week

March 7, 2018

A Tibetan man in his forties, Tsekho Tugchak, set fire to himself and died today (March 7) in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), eastern Tibet, the first self-immolation in Tibet this year. It is the 153rd self-immolation in Tibet, and happens at a time of intense securitization across Tibet in the buildup to the sensitive anniversary of the March 10 Uprising in 1959, and the tenth anniversary of protests that swept across Tibet in 2008 on the same date.

Graphic images circulated online of Tsekho Tugchak’s blackened body, lying on the ground, his arms outstretched. He was from a nomadic village in Meeruma township in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Amdo. The last Tibetan to set fire to himself, Konpe, was also from Ngaba, and set himself on fire on December 23, 2017, close to the area of the first self-immolation in Tibet in February, 2009.[1]

Read full story Comments are closed

Young Tibetan man dies after self-immolation in Ngaba

December 27, 2017

A young Tibetan man called Konpe set fire to himself on December 23 (2017) and died in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), close to the site of the first self-immolation in Tibet eight years ago. In a harrowing video circulating online, a woman can be heard calling out, “Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso [the Dalai Lama], grace us with your compassionate gaze.”

Konpe, who was aged around 30, was taken away immediately by police. By the morning of December 24 he had died, according to two monks from Kirti monastery in exile in Dharamsala, India.

The two Kirti monks, Kanyag Tsering and Losang Yeshe, said that it was not known what Konpe had shouted as he was on fire, at around 6 pm on December 23. They also said that his father had been detained by the authorities in Barkham (Chinese: Ma’erkang), because officials said that tens of thousands of yuan had been spent on medical treatment for Konpe.

Read full story Comments are closed

Respected Tibetan monk sets fire to himself in eastern Tibet

November 30, 2017

A popular Tibetan monk in his sixties who had worked as a voluntary teacher set fire to himself and died in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi), the eastern Tibetan area of Kham, on Sunday (November 26).

The monk, named Tenga, had studied in Kardze Monastery in Sichuan. He reportedly called for freedom for Tibet as he was burning, according to Tibetan sources.

Tenga is the 151st Tibetan to set himself on fire in Tibet since 2009, in one of the most sweeping and significant waves of self-immolation as political protest globally, and the fifth this year. Two Tibetans in exile in India also set fire to themselves in July (2017).[1]

Read full story Comments are closed

ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering’s statement at the Roundtable on “Tibetan Buddhist Today”

September 15, 2017

Following is the prepared statement by ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering at the Roundtable on “Tibetan Buddhist Today” held by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable at the United States Congress on September 15, 2017. Other participants of the Roundtable were Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, USCIRF Commissioner; Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for East Asia, Freedom House; and Tina Mufford, Senior Policy Analyst, USCIRF. Judith Golub, Director of Congressional Affairs & Policy and Planning, USCIRF, moderated it.

Read full story Comments are closed

First Tibetan self-immolation in Dharamsala

July 31, 2017

A charred body was found near the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamsala on Saturday (July 29), with one eyewitness reporting seeing a man in flames near the pilgrimage route. It is the first self-immolation in Dharamsala, India, base of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.

The man has been identified as Dhondup (also known as Passang Dhondup) a wood painter at Norbulingka Institute, near Dharamsala. The 49-year old man was born in Gyantse (Chinese: Jiangzi) in Tibet and had arrived in India in 1991 and had been working in Norbulingka institute from 2012, according to Tibetan media.

Read full story Comments are closed

Tibetan student in India self-immolates

July 14, 2017

A young Tibetan student in India set himself on fire today in the compound of his university in Varanasi, shouting ‘Victory for Tibet’.

Tenzin Choeying, aged around 20, survived but was badly burnt and is now in hospital, according to Tibetans and other eyewitnesses in Varanasi.

Tenzin Choeying doused himself with kerosene and set fire to himself at around 9 am in the entrance of a residential hall at the Central University for Tibetan Studies today, according to eyewitnesses.

Read full story Comments are closed

Young Tibetan monk becomes the 150th self-immolator in Tibet

May 23, 2017

A young Tibetan monk in Qinghai set fire to himself and died on Friday (May 19, 2017) in the 150th self-immolation by a Tibetan in People’s Republic of China since 2009.

Jamyang Losel, who was in his twenties, set fire to himself near the county hospital in Chentsa (Chinese: Jianzha) in Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai, according to Tibetan sources.

Read full story Comments are closed

Inside Tibet: The four loves and the enemy within: new ideological campaign in Tibet reflects heightened agenda of control in 19th Party Congress year

April 20, 2017

The Chinese authorities have launched a new ideological campaign in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) aimed at “diluting the negative impact of religion” and promoting loyalty to Xi Jinping as part of an intensified control agenda in the year of the 19th Party Congress.

The new propaganda effort is focused around the “four loves”, which are defined as “core interests” of the Chinese Communist Party; the motherland; one’s home town, and one’s livelihood – and was promoted in numerous meetings around the region over the last two weeks.[1]

Read full story Comments are closed

Footage from Tibet depicts self-immolation of father of three in Kardze

April 18, 2017

Footage has emerged of a self-immolation on Saturday (April 15) of a Tibetan man, father of three Wangchuk Tseten, just a month after another self-immolation in the Tibetan prefecture of Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) in eastern Tibet. Wangchuk Tseten was from the same area of Kardze Prefecture as 24-year old farmer Pema Gyaltsen, who set fire to himself on March 18 and who may have survived.

Read full story Comments are closed

Security crackdown follows first Tibetan self-immolation in 2017

March 28, 2017

  • Security has been intensified in an area of Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) where a 24-year old Tibetan farmer, Pema Gyaltsen, set fire to himself on March 18 near a monastery.
  • A video has emerged from another area in Kardze, Serthar (Chinese: Seda), which appears to show Tibetan pedestrians in traditional clothes being attacked and brutally beaten by police. A voice over removed from the video footage, circulated by Voice of America, reflects shock and sadness among onlookers, with one voice saying over and over again, “They are doing this for no reason at all.”
  • Tensions are high in the Serthar area, which is close to the religious institute of Larung Gar, also in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Kham. Images and video of more demolitions at the religious institute over the last few days are circulating on social media.
Read full story Comments are closed

Tibetan man heard calling for return of Dalai Lama as he sets fire to himself

December 9, 2016

A Tibetan man was heard calling for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet as he set fire to himself on December 8 and died in Machu (Chinese: Maqu) in Gansu, the Tibetan area of Amdo.

The Tibetan man, who has been named as Tashi Rabten, self-immolated on the same street of the county town where his relative, 20 year old Tsering Kyi, set fire to herself and died on March 3, 2012, according to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy.[1] Video and images depicted a body engulfed in flames with a young boy looking on, and a woman standing nearby reciting prayers. A second video circulating on social media shows police arriving to take away the body.[2]

Read full story Comments are closed

16-year old self-immolator dies in hospital in India

March 4, 2016

A 16-year old Tibetan schoolboy, Dorjee Tsering, has died after setting himself on fire on Monday in India. In Tibet on the same day, according to Radio Free Asia, an 18-year old monk, Kalsang Wangdu, set himself on fire and died.

Dorjee Tsering, who lived on a Tibetan settlement in northern India, set himself on fire in Dehra Dun on February 29 after visiting his grandfather. According to some witnesses, he called out ‘Free Tibet’ as he set himself alight. While he survived the protest, he suffered 95% burns to his body and was taken to a hospital in Delhi where he died on March 3.

Read full story Comments are closed

Self-immolation of ‘generous Buddhist devoted to her family’ in Tibet

September 4, 2015

New information has reached ICT about the self-immolation of Tashi Kyi, a Tibetan mother of four in her mid-fifties who set herself on fire on August 27 and died, apparently as a protest against China’s policies of relocation and demolition of housing. Tashi Kyi, described as a “generous Buddhist” who was “devoted to her family”, was a relative of a prominent monk who escaped into exile after a bold protest in 2008.

Although local Tibetans attempted to save her life by extinguishing the blaze, Tashi Kyi died hours after setting herself on fire in her housing compound, a nomad settlement site in Sangkok township, Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. Her body was taken away by the authorities. It is the 143rd self-immolation in Tibet since 2009.[1]

Read full story Comments are closed

Monk who self-immolated leaves note calling for the Dalai Lama’s return: context of imprisonment and demolition of family home

July 22, 2015

Sonam Topgyal, the monk who self-immolated on July 9 (2015) in the center of a city rebuilt by the Chinese authorities, had experienced imprisonment and the demolition of his family home before he set himself on fire.

Dzongsar monk Sonam Topgyal, who has died in hospital according to Tibetan sources, left a note tucked into his prayer book, saying that China’s policies are aimed at eradicating Tibet’s religion, culture and traditions, and destroying the environment. Tibetans have no recourse to express their views about the situation, he added in the note, which was discovered after his self-immolation.

Read full story Comments are closed

Tibetan monk self-immolates as security tightened for Dalai Lama’s birthday

July 10, 2015

A Tibetan monk in his late twenties set fire to himself in the main square of Kyegudo (Yushu) yesterday (July 9), in an atmosphere of heightened security imposed around the period of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday on July 6.

Images emerging from Tibet show the monk, who has been named by Tibetan exile sources as Sonam Topgyal, on the ground in flames in the town’s main Gesar Square. According to the same Tibetan sources, Sonam Topgyal was taken away by armed police while still alive and is believed to be in hospital, although his whereabouts and welfare is not known. The county town of Kyegudo (also referred to as Jyekundo or Kyegudo) is in Qinghai Province (the Tibetan area of Kham).

Security in the town was immediately escalated following the self-immolation, which is the sixth this year and the 142nd in the PRC. Sonam Topgyal is from Nangchen (Chinese: Nangqian) in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Details of his monastery could not be confirmed, due to intense security restrictions in the area imposed after his self-immolation.

Read full story Comments are closed
Sangey Tso

Tibetan mother who self-immolated wrote note calling for long life of Dalai Lama

June 1, 2015

A Tibetan mother of two who set fire to herself and died last week outside a government office left a note calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama, according to Tibetan sources.

Before she set herself on fire, Sangye Tso, 36, had written: “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama, where is the Panchen Lama, and freedom for Tibetans[1]”, according to a Tibetan source. The same source said that she displayed a photograph of the Dalai Lama and lit incense before it at the site of her self-immolation, which was outside a government and police building (ICT report, Tibetan mother of two sets fire to herself outside government building.

Another Tibetan source said that a couple of local elderly people who were circumambulating the monastery saw flames in the area, but didn’t think it was a person – they thought it was something being burned. When they approached more closely, police also came out of the building and took away Sangye Tso, who had died in the blaze.

Read full story Comments are closed
Chone

Tibetan mother of two sets fire to herself outside government building

May 27, 2015

A Tibetan mother of two set fire to herself today outside a Chinese government building in Kanlho and near a monastery where teachings were being held for a Buddhist festival. Sangye Tso, 36, is believed to have died.

Sangye Tso set fire to herself this morning (May 27) in a township in Chone (Chinese: Zhuoni) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province, according to Tibetan sources. The location she chose to self-immolate was significant – outside a government building near the monastery of Tashi Choekhorling in Dorkok township. A Tibetan exile source in contact with Tibetans in the area said: “The specific location was the Party and government offices, including the local police station, symbolic to locals of policies of injustice against Tibetans, as well as the main offices to enforce the crackdown against police protest in 2008.”

Read full story Comments are closed