Tibetan Burns, Hails Dalai Lama

The third self-immolation in two days raises the number of burning protests to 81 so far.
2012-11-24
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Tibetans attend the funeral of a self-immolator in Qinghai province's Rebgong county, Nov. 4, 2012.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

A Tibetan man, heard shouting for the long life of the Dalai Lama, has burned himself to death in Qinghai province in protest against Chinese rule, the third self-immolation in two days, according to sources Saturday.

Tamdin Dorjee 29, the main breadwinner of a family of six, torched himself in front of the local government office of Dokarmo subdivision in Rebgong (in Chinese, Tongren) county in the Malho (Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture late Friday.  

"He managed to walk about 10 steps and then fell on the ground. He stood up and attempted to walk but soon collapsed and died," an exile source told RFA's Tibetan service.

According to another Tibetan exile source, “As the flames blazed higher, he could be seen putting his hands together in prayer, shouting long life to the Dalai Lama,” a report by the advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said Saturday.

Defying official warnings, more than 1,000 people gathered at the site of his self-immolation, according to exile sources, praying for Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s long life and chanting mantras, ICT said.

Then, the monks of the local monasteries and residents cremated Tamdrin Dorjee at a cemetery located close to the Mindrol Dargyalling monastery, sources said.

One exile source told RFA that few days before his self-immolation, Tamdin Dorjee called on his family members and enjoyed supper with them and talked. He also met up with all his close friends and relatives.

"During these gatherings, he mentioned how difficult and tough he felt it was to remain under Chinese restrictions and torture," the source said.

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'Discriminatory' policies

Tibetan groups say self-immolations protesting Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama have intensified recently due to Beijing's "discriminatory" policies and a security clampdown on monasteries.

Tamdin Dorjee's death brings the self-immolation tally to 81 so far, with 17 reported this month. Another self-immolation on Friday and one more a day earlier were reported previously.

“The Tibetans who are self-immolating—now in more rapid succession—have clearly not been dissuaded by the security buildup or other means of official intimidation," said Mary Beth Markey, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

"Nonetheless, the authorities seem to be betting that further oppression will cower or exhaust the will of future self-immolators," she said. "But unless and until there is some initiative that can break through the cycle of repression and protest, I think we all acknowledge that more Tibetans will be prepared to take the agonizing action of self-immolation."

"And that is a terrible and unacceptable calculation,” she said

Chinese authorities however have labeled the self-immolators as terrorists, outcasts, criminals, and mentally ill people and have blamed the Dalai Lama for encouraging the burnings.

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

Comments (4)
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Wangchuk

from NYC

It should be made clear that the Tibetan self-immolators are calling for both the return of His Holiness & Tibetan independence. Tibetans no longer want to live under Chinese rule. They want their nation back.

Nov 30, 2012 10:17 AM

António José Maya

from Torres Vedras

Tibet: 81th self-immolation against Chinese repression!
Courageous and selfless martyrs Tibetans!
Om Mani Padme Hung
Courageous and selfless Tibetan Women Martyrs!
Om Mani Padme Hung
Your painful and supreme sacrifice is not in vain!
Nobody can kill the truth.
Nobody can kill justice.
Nobody can kill what we are fighting for ...
Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!
Long live the Tibetan People!
FREE AND INDEPENDENT TIBET!
Tibet: How many more Tibetan Women are still tormented by the criminal military and militarized Communist China.
Tibet: The more self-immolations will be needed against the Chinese Communist repression.
Tibet is not part of China!
Military Communist China terrorize the peaceful people of Tibet!
Arrogance, cruelty and cowardice!
China oppressive and criminal, go home!
Tibet will be free!

Nov 27, 2012 11:50 PM

mao zedong

from san francisco california

1. let the dalai lama return to tibet.. whit is big deal.

2. like pope in italy. dalai lama is "spiritual leader of tibet"

3. let dalai lama return... what harm can it do

Nov 26, 2012 09:16 PM

Rang

from Bangkok


Nov 28, 2012 08:29 AM

San

from Singapore

Hi All,

My opunion, this is not right way to fight t for Freedon. Dalai Lama to guide correct way to fight, many other way.

Best Regards,

San

Nov 25, 2012 12:37 PM