Third fatal self-immolation in Tibet in eight days

24th December 2014

Monk dies calling for freedom

UPDATE: it is now confirmed that police fired on Tibetans following the self-immolation.

37-year-old monk, Kalsang Yeshi set himself alight on the morning of 23 December in Dawu County, eastern Tibet. His protest took place outside a police station which was located close to Nyatso monastery, where he studied, to monitor activity by the monks. During the protest he shouted slogans calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and saying that Tibetans need freedom. Police forcibly removed his body and hundreds of members of the local community gathered and told the police they want Kalsang Yeshi's body returned for traditional funeral ceremonies. It is not clear at this point whether his body has been returned - frequently the authorities cremate the bodies of self-immolators, against the wishes of the family.

Protests in Tibet

His protest follows the deaths of Tsepe and Sanghyal Khar in self-immolation protests this December. There have now been eleven self-immolations in Tibet this year, after 27 in 2013 and more than 80 in 2012. Three self-immolations have not taken place in eight days since March 2013. Kalsang Yeshi travelled to India in his early years and studied Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in Gadhen Jingtse monastery (located in South India). Since his return to Tibet, he promoted Buddhism and taught the Tibetan language in Dawu County.

Shooting in Dawu

Last year, security forces fired on a prayer gathering in Dawu County, severely injuring a number of Tibetans.

Take action

See our Get Involved pages to find out what you can do to help Tibet.