A Tibetan nun self-immolated today, June 11, in an apparent protest against the Chinese government’s continuing repressive policies in Tibetan regions. Today’s incidence brings the total number of known self-immolations in Tibet to 119 since February, 2009. The nun’s immolation took place in the Tawu district of Kham, located in Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province.
VOA Tibetan’s sources in the diaspora community have stated that the nun, whose identity, background, and other details are currently not clear, set herself ablaze around 5pm (local time) near Nya Tso monastery. The sources have also told VOA that soon after the incident, the nun’s body was taken by security forces to a hospital in Dartsedo and that her condition is presently unknown.
The Chinese authorities have shut down communications in the Tawo district soon after the self-immolation, making it difficult to get further information. Due to two previous self-immolation that took place in the region over the last two years, the area has suffered severe crackdowns and been under heightened restrictions and controls.
The Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala, India, has made appeals urging Tibetans to refrain from taking drastic actions such as self-immolations. The US State Department has urged Tibetans to refrain from carrying out self-immolations, and urged the Chinese government to address policies in Tibet and in Tibetan areas that have created tensions, and that threaten the distinct religious, cultural and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people. The majority of the self-immolators in Tibet have called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and freedom for Tibetans.