Monday 2015/03/02

Tibet

Father of Four Dies After Self-immolation in Tibet

​Tibetan sources say a Tibetan, father of four, has died  after self-immolation today in Sangchu Dzong, Gannan prefecture in Gansu province, Tibet.  Namlha Tsering, 49,  as an apparent protest against Chinese repressive policy in Tibet, set himself on fire outside County  Cinema of Lobrang at about 5:40  pm local time.  

Quoting eyewitnesses from the area, Sonam, told VOA Tibetan Service  this morning that Namlha Tsering was severely burned and has succumbed to death. Photographs received  at  the Service  also show   him sitting cross-legged in flames and another  picture shows  that he  had fallen  on his back in flames.  Other sources say Tsering’s  severely burned body and his motorbike were   taken away by security forces who subsequently stated that he had died.

Namlha Tsering,  also known as Hoba,  is survived by his wife and four sons. The oldest is reported to be a monk. His self-immolation today brings the total number of self-immolations since February 2009 to 102.

Namlha Tsering was from the Ri Ngun  village in Gangya Town Sangchu Dzong, Gannan prefecture in Gansu province, Tibet.

On February 13, 2013, Drugpa Khar,  26, carried out his self-immolation protest  in Amchok region of eastern Tibet,  a day observed by Tibetans as the centenary celebrations of His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama’s Proclamation of Tibetan Independence.  On the same day,   a Tibetan monk who had  recently arrived in  Katmandu, Nepal, from Tibet, set himself  on fire and had died in a hospital in Katmandu.

The London-based Free Tibet says Namlha Tsering’s protest is the seventh confirmed in 2013  and has taken place in the context of a crackdown by Chinese security forces specifically intended to curb this form of protest.  

“Recent weeks have seen a wave of arbitrary detentions and severe sentences for Tibetans accused of involvement in self-immolation protests. In January a monk called Lobsang Kunchok was given a suspended death sentence for ‘intentional homicide’ after allegedly inciting eight such protests, and eight other individuals have been given lengthy sentences in jail so far this year,”   according to Free Tibet.  

The self-immolators have called for freedom in  Tibet and return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet from exile. The self-immolation campaign began in February 2009 to protest what Tibetans say is China’s repressive policy in Tibet. China denies the charge and says the self-immolation protests are acts of terrorism.
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