Elderly monk carries out self-immolation protest in eastern Tibet

29th November 2017

Tenga, 63, was taken away by police. His current condition is unknown

UPDATE: We have since learned that Tenga died from the injuries he sustained from his protest

A Tibetan has set himself on fire in eastern Tibet in protest against the occupation. Tenga, a 63-year-old monk carried out his self-immolation protest in Kardze County on 26 November. 

According to a friend of Tenga who was at the scene of the protest , Tenga shouted “We want freedom in Tibet” as he set himself on fire.

Security personnel soon arrived on the scene to take Tenga’s body away. It is not clear at this point whether or not Tenga survived his protest. Free Tibet’s research partner, Tibet Watch, is currently working to confirm these details.

Authorities responded to the protest by immediately putting the region under heavy security by deploying large numbers of police and People's Armed Police to the area. Tenga’s home village, Dhadho, has also been put under police watch.

A teacher in the community

Tenga formerly lived and practiced in Kardze Monastery before health problems forced him to leave. Since then he has been living at his home in Dhadho Village, where he conducted prayer teachings for local Tibetans, who gave him the honorary title Gen Tenga, meaning "teacher". He was said to have followed global and Tibetan affairs with keen interest.

Kardze County has been one of the main centres of Tibetan resistance to the Chinese military occupation, with a number of demonstrations taking place there in recent years. It has also been the scene of a large number of self-immolations, including that of Wangchuk Tseten, who carried out a fatal self-immolation protest in April this year.

Tenga is the fifth Tibetan known to have carried out a self-immolation protest in Tibet this year.  Two Tibetans have also set themselves on fire in India this year. Since 2009 over 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest against the occupation, human rights abuses and restrictions on Tibet’s religion and culture. The majority of these protests have been fatal.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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