Self-immolation protest at New Year prayer festival

14th February 2014

Second Tibetan sets himself alight in 2014

A 25-year-old former monk has set himself alight during the New Year prayer festival at Kirti monastery in Ngaba County, eastern Tibet. Lobsang Dorjee’s protest took place around 6.30pm local time yesterday. He was spotted by a police patrol who put out the fire and took him away in a car. He was seen trying to sit up as the car drove away but his current condition and whereabouts are unknown. Lobsang Dorjee had previously been a monk at Kirti monastery but more recently had been working with his mother and youngest brother in the family business in Qinghai Province. A few months before the protest he returned home to Ngaba, in Sichuan Province, to visit his father and attend the New Year prayer festival at Kirti monastery.

Tight security for New Year in Tibet

There was already a heavy police presence in Ngaba town as many people had gathered to celebrate the lunar New Year (30 Jan to 14 February) and also the New Year prayer festival, which takes place during the last four days of the holiday. Since 2008 the Chinese authorities have increased security around Tibetan gatherings at this time of year. Following the self-immolation, security is even tighter, with armed police patrolling the streets.

Take action

Self-immolation protests are a reaction against China's brutal oppression and occupation in Tibet. You can view a full list of confirmed self-immolations here. There are many ways that you can take action for Tibet online.