A Tibetan man named Tsekho has died after carrying out a self-immolation protest in Meruma Township in Ngaba County, eastern Tibet. A local source described Tsekho, who was in his forties, as a strong, optimistic character with great interest in the Tibetan cause.
He set himself ablaze around 5 pm (China Standard Time) today in protest against Chinese rule over Tibet.
Tsekho’s protest occurred in the run-up to the anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day, one of the most significant dates of the year for Tibetans. This is the first reported self-immolation protest of 2018. The last case which occurred in December 2017 involved a man called Kunbey who also lived in Meruma Township. At the time a video of Kunbey setting himself alight near Kirti monastery circulated around social media. Security and armed police quickly arrived at the scene and took away the body.
Since 2009, over 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest against the occupation, which has been in force since 1950, as well as human rights abuses and restrictions on Tibet’s religion and culture carried out under Chinese rule. Most previous self-immolations have been fatal.
While Tsekho’s death has been confirmed, currently the whereabouts of his body is unknown. He is survived by his elderly father, his wife and two daughters.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch