Tibetan Self-immolates in Ngaba County

Tibetans take part in a candlelight vigil in Kathmandu, Nepal to pay respects to compatriots who self-immolated in China, Feb. 13, 2013.

A Tibetan monk has self-immolated in a protest against Chinese rule in Sichuan province’s Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) county in the third burning in two days despite heightened security, according to sources Tuesday.

Sangdag, from the Diphu monastery, set himself ablaze at about 10:00 a.m. local time in a public area of the Ngaba county center, a Tibetan resident of the area told RFA’s Tibetan service.

Chinese police doused the flames and sent him to hospital, but his condition was not immediately known, sources said.

“Chinese police intervened and took him to a local hospital,” the Tibetan source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Free Tibet, a London-based advocacy group, said that Sangdag was later moved from the hospital and that his current whereabouts are unknown.

“A heavy security presence was reported in the town immediately following the protest but restrictions have since been relaxed,” Free Tibet said.

Sangdag's burning brings to 107 so far the total number of self-immolations protests challenging Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader who lives in exile in India.

The full name of Sangdag’s monastery is Diphu Geleg Terdzoe Ling,  but details concerning his family are still unknown, the source said.

Other burnings

Sangdag’s self-immolation followed two other burnings since Sunday.

Also on Monday, a Tibetan man burned himself to death at the gates of a monastery in China’s Gansu province, emulating his cousin’s self-immolation in the same area more than two months ago.

Tsezung Kyab, 27, died at the scene of his protest in Gansu’s Luchu (in Chinese, Luqu) county.

Meanwhile, a young Tibetan who torched himself on Sunday at a monastery in Qinghai province died on Monday after suffering serious burns.

Phagmo Dhondup, in his 20’s, set himself ablaze at the compound of the Jachung monastery in Tsoshar (Haidong) prefecture’s Bayan Khar (Hualong) county and was immediately taken to a nearby hospital.

Last Tuesday, two Tibetan teenagers Rinchen, 17, and Sonam Dargye, 18, burned themselves to death in protests in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture's Dzoege (Ruo'ergai) county.

Chinese authorities have deployed paramilitary forces and restricted communications and travel in the areas where self-immolations have occurred and have cracked down hard on any efforts by Tibetans to publicize the burning protests.

A number of Tibetans, including monks, have been jailed in recent weeks over their suspected roles in the burnings, with some given jail terms of up to 13 years.

Human rights groups have criticized the Chinese authorities for criminalizing the burning protests and for cracking down on Tibetans deemed to have provided encouragement or support.

Reported by Yangdon Demo and Lobe Socktsang for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.


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