First self-immolation protest in 2015

8th March 2015

Norchuk's fatal protest staged as Uprising Day draws near.

Norchuk died in Tibet on Friday 6 March after setting herself alight near her home village in Ngaba County. From a nomadic family, she had recently taken a vow to be a pure vegetarian. Tibetans consider pure vegetarians to be people of great virtue. Authorities cremated her body – as is common practice after self-immolations – preventing her family and community from carrying out traditional funeral ceremonies.

Protests in Ngaba

A second protest took place in Ngaba the following day, 7 March. Monk Gedon Phuntsok carried out a solo protest on “Heroes Street” (also known as “Martyrs Street”) in Ngaba county town. During his protest Phuntsok carried a photograph of the Dalai Lama and shouted slogans calling for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet and freedom and equality. He was arrested and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Gedon PhuntsokGedon Phuntsok

Ngaba county is a frequent location for protest and a number of Tibetans have self-immolated on Heroes Street.

China's intimidation

March is a traditional time of tension in Tibet because of the anniversary of the uprising. In preparation for the anniversary, security in Tibet is normally increased by the authorities and there have been significant military build-ups in several parts of Tibet this year. Earlier in the week, we reported on the massive military presence at the Monlam prayer festival in eastern Tibet, featuring dense ranks of fully armed soldiers and armoured vehicles at the entrance to Kumbum monastery.

Take action

Please mark Tibetan Uprising Day on March 10. If you haven't a Facebook account you can share our post on the 10th. You could also light a candle. Over a million Tibetans have died as a result of China’s occupation. Honour their memory with a contribution to our White Lotus Book of Remembrance.