Teen Dies Before Burning Protest

A Tibetan succumbs to poison before he could set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule.
2013-01-23
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Part of Luchu county.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

A Tibetan teenager died of suspected poisoning while he was set to burn himself in protest against Chinese rule in China's Gansu province, sources in Tibet said Wednesday.

Jigji Kyab, 17, was found dead last week soaked in gasoline with two lighters in his hands, the sources said.

He succumbed to poison which he consumed before moving to torch himself at a busy street crossing of his village in Luchu (in Chinese, Luqu) county on Jan. 19, according to the sources.

He left a suicide note on his bed, praising Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and asking Tibetans to "rise up" against Beijing’s rule, the sources said.

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A copy of the suicide note.

Jigji Kyab "died from consuming a poisonous drug used for killing foxes before he could execute his plan to self-immolate in protest against Chinese rule," a Tibetan source said.

"The poison killed him before he could light his body on fire,” the source said.

Ninety-eight Tibetans have self-immolated to highlight opposition to Chinese rule and seek the return of the Dalai Lama since the wave of fiery protests began in February 2009.

In his death note, Jigji Kyab said, "I pray that my hopes are fulfilled … Rise up the sons of the land of snow [Tibet]."

He also said, "The Tibetan singers rise up, may the Dalai Lama live long, I bow down to show respect to the Snow Lion [the national symbol of Tibet]."

"Father and mother, please take care of my body, you are the most loving persons on this earth. I hope to pay back your kindness in my later life…”

Another Tibetan source said Jigji Kyab was a "good young boy with excellent conduct."

"He is a devoted Tibetan youth who took great interest in those Tibetans who sacrificed themselves for the Tibetan issue.”

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