“I am setting fire to myself to protest against the Chinese government”

Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Nyingkar Tashi's letter explained the reason for his protest

Protester’s letter calls for freedom and independence in Tibet

A copy of a letter left by protester Nyingkar Tashi, who set fire to himself on 12th November, has been received by Free Tibet.

Last words

The letter says: “I am setting fire to myself to protest against the Chinese government.”

Nyingkar Tashi’s words fly in the face of Chinese government assertions that Tibetan protests are instigated by “external Tibetan forces and the Dalai clique”.

“Tibet needs independence”

Nyingkar Tashi, who was in his mid-20s, called out for freedom in Tibet and the long life of the Dalai Lama as he self-immolated.

The beginning of his letter echoes his last cries: “His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama and six million people [Tibetans in Tibet] need freedom. Tibet needs independence.”

The letter also goes on to say that Tibetans need to be able to speak and learn their own language. However, Chinese is mandatory for education and business.

Human rights

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“Nyingkar Tashi’s words could not be clearer: he is protesting against the Chinese government. He is protesting for freedom and independence. These are the unifying demands of protesters across Tibet, over 60 years after China’s occupation began.”

More than 70 Tibetans have set fire to themselves since March 2011. Read the full list.

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