Citing sources in the area, Sonam, an exile Tibetan originally from Rebkong, told VOA that Nyingkar Tashi, 24, set fire to himself at about 3:15 PM local time, and that while engulfed in fire, Nyingkar Tashi had called for the long life of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet. Nyingkar Tashi left behind his wife, Drugmo Tsering, aged 23, and his father Tashi Namgyal. His mother, Khando Tso, passed away in 2008.
The second self-immolator is identified as Nyingchag Bum, 18, who carried out his protest at about 7:18 PM local time. According to Tenzin Rabgyye, another exile with ties to the area, Bum’s self-immolation was witnessed by hundreds of local people who then stayed at the spot to pray for the long life of the Dalai Lama.
Nyingchag Bum was the oldest of the three children. His father’s name is Lhachug and his mother’s name is Tsering Tso. Tenzin Rabgye and other sources have told VOA that there has been heavy deployment and reinforcements of Chinese armed forces and that the situation in the area is, “very tense.”
Tashi and Bum’s self- immolation brings the total number of such protests inside Tibet since February 2009 to 72. The alarming number of self-immolations in the last few days appears to coincide with the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which is expected to conclude with the naming of a new set of Chinese leaders.
Rebkong County had witnessed a major demonstration on Friday, as Tibetan students and civilians took to the streets to demand language rights and the return of the Dalai Lama.