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Monk Survives Tibet Self-immolation but Loses Legs

A Tibetan rights group says that a Tibetan monk who carried out a self-immolation protest in Tibet last February has survived but that he had both his legs amputated afterwards.

According to the India- based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)- Sonam Rabyang, 42 year old monk from Lab Monastery set himself on fire on February 8, 2012 at Triwang (Ch: Chen wen) town, capital of Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) County in Yulshul (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

A relative of Sonam Rabyang, who lives in India, told TCHRD that Sonam Rabyang is recovering at his home in Yuthung Village of Lab Township in Tridu County. The relative who wishes to remain anonymous said, "I first heard that he was taken to an army hospital in the provincial capital of Xining. After about three months, I heard that both his legs were amputated at the hospital."

Sonam Rabyang is now being cared for by his family members under strict surveillance and restriction, according to the relative. He is not allowed to communicate through his phone without the knowledge of the local authorities.
The relative also said that Chinese authorities had asked Rabyang to admit that the reason for his self-immolation was not political but he was mentally ill.

Most of the Tibetans who carried out self-immolation protests had called for the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland and for freedom in Tibet.
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