A 27-year-old Tibetan man self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet Saturday at about 7 pm local time in Dzatoe (Chinese: Zaduo) county in the Yushul (Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province.
Yungdung, a resident of Dzatoe, shouted a number of slogans as he was being engulfed in flames: “Tibet is an independent country; His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Gyalwa Karmapa must be invited to Tibet; Dr. Lobsang Sangay is king of Tibet; Chinese must return to the land of China; stop mining; don’t destroy religion,” according a news received from Tibet.
Kunchok Tashi, who has close contacts in Yushul told VOA Tibetan Service that before he set himself ablaze, Yungdung was dressed in full Tibetan traditional attire. He walked past several Chinese shops in flames and the shop keepers threw water on his burning body in an attempt to put out the fire.
Quoting eyewitnesses in the area, Kunchok Tashi says Yungdung was severely burned and his internal organs were falling out before he was taken away by Chinese security personnel. He was taken to a hospital, and when the doctor asked him about his name and his condition, he could only answer “Tibet, Tibet, Tibet,” quoting sources in the area Tashi told VOA Tibetan Service.
“It is not clear at this time whether he has survived the self-immolation or has died,” Tashi added.
Following the self-immolation, he Chinese authorities have cut off commination lines and also have reinforced the security personal. They security have also imposed curfew and the streets are filled with security personnel, quoting sources in the area Tashi told VOA Tibetan service.
According to some sources, Chinese authorities had announced to have a festival of music, song and dance on September 30, 2012 in an attempt to show case a “happy Tibetan life” under Chinese rule, and the local people were forced to prepare for the festival, but the people were not willing to participate in the planned festival and Yungdong’s self-immolation could also be linked to this coerced festival in the area.
The latest self-immolation came a day after the four-day Special Tibetan Meeting, held in Dharmsala, India, called for an end to self-immolations protests by Tibetans. One of the 31 recommendations and resolutions adopted by the Special Meeting appealed: “Please preserve your lives in the future.”