Tag Archives | self-immolation

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]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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.
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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]

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Tibetan father of four self-immolates after oppressive measures to prevent Dalai Lama birthday celebrations

May 21, 2015

A Tibetan father of four set fire to himself in Tawu apparently in response to tightened security in the buildup to the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. Tenzin Gyatso, the fourth Tibetan to self-immolate this year, was taken away by armed police and it is not known if he is still alive. He set fire to himself outside a government building where political education was carried out, according to Tibetan sources.

Tenzin Gyatso’s self-immolation yesterday (May 20) followed an intense paramilitary buildup in Tawu (Chinese: Daofu), Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi), Sichuan, apparently linked to the authorities’ efforts to prevent any celebrations of the Dalai Lama’s upcoming 80th birthday on July 6.

Since 2008, security forces in Tawu have responded harshly to peaceful expressions of dissent and gatherings of Tibetans for cultural and religious purposes. Two years ago, police in Tawu opened fire on Tibetans peacefully celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday, injuring at least ten people. Other Tibetans detained were tortured in custody.

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Tibetan man sets fire to himself beside shrine with religious offerings (Updated)

April 16, 2015

Harrowing images are circulating on Tibetan social media of a Tibetan man who set fire to himself and died in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county in Sichuan on Wednesday (April 15).

The Tibetan man was named by Tibetan sources as Neykyab, believed to be in his forties or fifties. The same sources said that he was the brother-in-law of another Tibetan from Ngaba, Dargye, who set fire to himself in Lhasa on May 27, 2012.

At the site of his self-immolation, near his home in a village in Ngaba county, Neykyab displayed a photo of the Dalai Lama and the Tenth Panchen Lama with offerings of butter-lamps and flowers, as well as a family photograph. An image of the makeshift shrine circulated among Tibetans on social media.

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Chinese claims about Tibet lack credibility without access for international observers

April 15, 2015

Statement by Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet

After decades of spending billions of dollars on subsidies and pursuing the hyper-securitization of Tibet, China’s 2015 White Paper on Tibet is an acknowledgement that Chinese government policies have failed to win the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people.

The easiest way for the ‘anti-separatist’ bureaucratic power bloc to exonerate themselves from taking responsibility for their policy failures in Tibet is to blame the Dalai Lama and ‘hostile forces’ outside Tibet. The misleading arguments made in this White Paper serve only to underline that failure and the insecurity of the CCP over its legitimacy in Tibet. Ultimately Beijing must realize that the Dalai Lama’s moral and religious authority and message of peace is respected globally, and that no credible solution to the Tibet issue can be there that does not involve him.

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