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Central Tibetan Administration Holds Prayers to Mourn Self-Immolators

Dharamsala Prays for the dead Self-Immolators
Central Tibetan Administration today held prayers for Jamyang Palden, Yungdung and Gudrup, who recently passed away due to self-immolations. Thomtog Rinpoche, abbot of the Namgyal monastery presided over the prayers at Tsuklagkhang temple in Dharamsala. Many senior officials and staff members were present along with hundreds of Tibetans.

Jamyang Palden succumbed to injuries on September 29 after his self-immolation in March earlier this year. Yungdong died on September 29 after setting himself ablaze. Gudrup, a native from Driru died yesterday after burning himself protesting China's rule over Tibet.

Pema Chinnjor, minister for the Department of Religion paid respect and condolences on behalf of the exile administration to the family and friends of the self-immolators.

Hundreds of Tibetan showed up with white scarf to pay respect to the self-immolators at a candle light vigil held by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Regional Tibetan Women's Association (RTWA) and the Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) in India.

Tenzin Kalden, a native from Driru briefed the gathering about Gudrup's life and an executive member of the Dharamsala TYC read his last words where Gudrup wrote Tibetans are declaring the reality of Tibet by burning our own bodies to call for freedom.

Gudrup's actions bring the number of self-immolations to 53 since February 2009, and are part of a slowly growing number taking place within the Tibet Autonomous Region. Most of the self-immolations have occurred in southwestern China.

China has repeatedly denounced self-immolations as terrorist acts, calling the practice barbaric. But representatives of the Dalai Lama and the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile say the practice is a sign Tibetans can no longer tolerate Beijing's push against their culture and religion.