Tibetan Self-Immolation Protests now over 50!

The number of anti-Chinese Tibetan protestors who have set themselves on fire and died is now over 50 with the recent self-immolations of two Tibetan teens, one the younger brother of a nun who had done the same in February. Most of these protests have taken place in the province of Kham which is in eastern Tibet.

Here is the quote from The Tibetan Post

Dharamshala: – Two Tibetans have set themselves on fire Monday morning at around 08.30 am, August 27, 2012 (Tibet Time) in Ngaba county, north-eastern Tibet (Chinese: Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province) to protest agianst China to ends its repressive policies in Tibet. There were no immediate details of the two self-immolators who have set themselves alight in Tibet, Ven Jamyang, a Tibetan monk, who is currently living in Nepal told The Tibet Post International (TPI) Monday morning.

A web conversation with a Tibetan lady inside Tibet, a Tibetan man from Ngaba county, currently living in Nepal was being told about the incident in Ngaba county. “He told people near him that two laypersons have self-immolated this morning at the main street in Ngaba county of Tibet,” Jamyang further added. However, there were no further details at that time.

Ven Lobsang Yeshe and Kanyak Tsering, media coordinators of the Kirti Monastery based in India issued a press release later that day confirming the incident with detals; the Two men are confirmed dead after they set themselves on fire in Ngaba county of Amdho region, north-eastern Tibet to protest against Chinese policies aim to destroy Tibet’s unique national, cultural and religious identity.

They told the TPI that, an 18 years old Lobsang Kalsang, a monk from the Kirti monastery in Ngaba, and a layperson named Dhamchoe, who is at his 17, managed to stands up to run for around twenty steps before falling down.

Sources from inside Tibet said two young men were taken to a hospital in Barkham county by Chinese authorities after they put out the flames and later died from massive burn injuries.

Recent months, more armed Chinese forces have been deployed to Ngaba county and surrounding areas, the site of several such self-immolations and attempts. Nearly 60 Tibetan have set themselves on fire in recent years in Tibet in protest at repressive government policies. But, the Chinese authorities have labeled the self-immolators as terrorists.

The political leader of Tibet, Dr. Lobsang Sangay recently said he was disappointed that dozens of self-immolations by Tibetans have not received the same world attention as the similar suicide of a Tunisian man that sparked the Arab Spring.

Dr Sangay strongly urged world governments to pay attention to the plight of Tibetan people. “Ignoring us or not supporting us might send a message to other marginalized groups around the world that perhaps it is not worth investing in democracy and non-violence,” he added.

And here is a quote from Phayul.com

DHARAMSHALA, August 28: In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, two young Tibetans set themselves on fire Monday in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

The two have been identified as Lobsang Kalsang, an 18-year-old monk of the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba eastern Tibet and Damchoe, a former monk at the monastery, aged around 17.

Both of them succumbed to their injuries later in the day.

Damchoe was the younger brother of Tenzin Choedron, a nun at the Mamae nunnery, the largest nunnery in the Ngaba region, who passed away in her self-immolation protest earlier this year on February 11.

The exile base of the Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, in release said Lobsang Kalsang and Damchoe set themselves on fire at around 8:30 am (local time) near the eastern gate of the Kirti Monastery.

“According to eyewitnesses, the two Tibetan martyrs, engulfed in flames, walked around 20 steps before falling down on the ground,” the release said. “They raised slogans against the Chinese government policies of annihilating the Tibetan race.”

Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene and after dousing the flames, took both of them to the Ngaba hospital, where they were kept for a short period.

Lobsang Kalsang and Damchoe were then taken to the nearby Barkham hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

It is not yet known whether the bodies have been handed over to the families.

“Following the protest, Lobsang Kalsang’s room-mate at the Kirti Monastery, Lobsang Palden was detained by Chinese security personnel,” the release said.

The wave of self-immolations that began in 2009 has now witnessed 52 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from exile.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, during a daily press briefing on Monday, reiterated the US government’s appeal to China to address the legitimate grievances of Tibetans through dialogue.

“Whenever we see these tragic incidents, we again call on China to meet the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people within China to protect their human rights, to protect their way of life, and to work on these issues through dialogue,” Nuland said.