Tibetan Self-Immolator Dies

The man in his 20's succumbs to burns over nearly all of his body.
2012-07-13
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The site of the self-immolations outside the Jokhang Temple in central Lhasa, May 27, 2012.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.


A Tibetan man who suffered severe burns a week ago after self-immolating in protest against Chinese rule in the Tibet Autonomous Region has died, sources said Friday.

The man, in his 20’s, was rushed to a military hospital after the fiery protest in the seat of Damshung county (in Chinese, Dangxiong) near Tibet's capital Lhasa but could not be saved,  the sources said.

"He was taken to the military hospital near Sera monastery in Lhasa when he could not be treated at the Damshung local hospital," a source in Nepal with contacts in the region told RFA.

"The man suffered burns nearly all over the body and died on the same night he was brought in," another source in Nepal said.

His identity could not be confirmed though he was believed to be 22 or 23 years old and a resident of Damshung’s Chode village.    

The Damshung incident brings to 43 the total number of self-immolations reported since February 2009 as Tibetans challenge Chinese policies which they say have robbed them of their rights.

Of the 43, the Damshung man is the fourth to self-immolate in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).  

All of the other self-immolations have occurred in Tibetan-populated areas of the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, and Gansu.

The burnings have intensified over the past year and resulted in a Chinese security clampdown across the region.

The authorities have detained hundreds of monks from monasteries and jailed scores of Tibetan writers, artists, singers, and educators for asserting Tibetan national identity and civil rights, exile sources say.

Recuperating

Meanwhile, one of two young Tibetan men who self-immolated in Lhasa on May 27 in the first self-immolations in the Tibetan capital is recuperating in the Sangyib prison complex in Lhasa, according to the second source in Nepal.

The man, identified as Dargye, "was brought to the same military hospital on Sera road. Later on he was moved to the police hospital. Now he is moved to Unit 4 of Sangyib prison complex in Lhasa,” the source said.

The other man, identified as Tobgye Tseten, succumbed to his burns on the same day.

They had self-immolated in front of Jokhang Temple in central Lhasa—reputedly the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetan pilgrims—and were swiftly bundled away by security forces, the sources said.

Reported by RFA's Tibetan service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.