A 49-year old Tibetan man called Namlha Tsering set himself on fire today in the main street of Labrang, Gansu (the Tibetan area of Amdo), which is not far from Labrang monastery. Images emerged showing a man huddled on the road amidst traffic with his body ablaze. Chinese police and paramilitary arrived quickly on the scene and removed Namlha Tsering. It is not yet known whether he is still alive.
The images that have emerged show Chinese paramilitary forces arriving on the scene after the incident, and depicted blackened remains on the ground. Namlha Tsering was a farmer and nomad who was married with four children, according to several Tibetan sources in exile. He was from a nomadic area, Ganja township, around 20 kilometers from Labrang (Sangchu) town. Namlha Tsering is the 102nd Tibetan known to have self-immolated in the PRC since February, 2009.
Namlha Tsering’s self-immolation follows another self-immolation last week also in Kanlho (Gannan) in Gansu. On February 13, the third day of Tibetan New Year (Losar), Drugpa Khar, a father of three in his twenties, doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire in Amchok town in Sangchu (Xiahe) county.
(Further self-immolation in Tibet despite harsh legal measures to deter protests; Tibetan who set fire to himself in Nepal dies)
On October 22, 2012, a Tibetan man in his sixties called Dhondup became the first Tibetan to set fire to himself outside Labrang Tashikyil monastery, one of the most important centers of religious culture in Tibet.