Ninteen year old Tsepey, who sources describe as a gentle and kind person, set herself on fire around 4pm on December 22, in a rural area called Meruma, close to a township that has seen the greatest number of such protests over the last 5 years. Sources citing eyewitnesses tell VOA that she is believed to have died at the scene before security forces took her body away, although access to her or information on her condition has not been possible for her family. In fact Tsepey's father, 60 year old Chimey Dorje, and her mother, 50 year old mother Chenpa are reported to have been taken from their home by security police and their present status is unknown. Within hours of the protest, photographs of Tsepey's immolation have found their way to exile Tibetans.
This is the tenth Tibetan self-immolation to take place this year, and 134th such protest in Tibet and Tibetan areas within Chinese provinces since 2009. This form of individual protest started after the major uprising protests that spread across all Tibetan regions in 2008 that were responded to by the Chinese security with severe and often violent crackdowns.
The testimonies left behind by some of the self-immolation protestors and the eyewitness accounts of slogans shouted out by others, often while in flames, called for change in Tibet that would enable the Dalai Lama to return to Tibetan, and greater freedoms in Tibet.
Tsepey's self-immolation comes one week after a father of two girls burned himself outside a police station in Amchok township, approximately 189 miles from Ngaba town.