Tibetan student dies following self-immolation protest

Tenzin Choeying in hospital
Tenzin Choeying in hospital
24th July 2017

Tenzin Choeying, who self-immolated on 14 July, succumbed to his injuries and died 8 days later


On 22 July, 19-year-old Tenzin Choeying died in hospital in New Delhi from injuries sustained during his self-immolation on 14 July. He had 90% burns from his protest.

Tenzin Choeying had previously been assessed to have some 70% burns, and while in hospital his condition had appeared to have stabilised. He had been moved to New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital from a hospital in Varanasi for specialised treatment.

Visited there by Tibetan Youth Congress executives and by his extremely distraught mother, Choeying was able to again clarify how his self-immolation was for the freedom of Tibet.


“I burn myself for Tibet”

Tenzin Choeying carried out his self-immolation protest on 14  July on the campus of the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. Eyewitnesses stated how he had set himself on fire after coming out of the boys hostel, ran forward around 20 steps shouting “Bod Gyalo, Bod Gyalo” (Victory to Tibet, Victory to Tibet), then fell to the ground. People in the vicinity immediately put out the fire and he was taken to hospital in the city of Varanasi.

He wrote a note before carrying out the self-immolation, in which he explained the reasons for his protest, saying: “I burn myself for Tibet”.

Nearly 150 Tibetans have carried out self-immolation protests inside Tibet, and since 1998 there have been at least eight protests by Tibetans which have taken place outside Tibet.

Tenzin Choeying was from Kollegal Tibetan Settlement in south India and the youngest among four siblings. He was a second year student at the Central University for Tibetan Studies and a member of the regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Varanasi.

Tibetan Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, who was giving a speech at Tenzin Choeying's university on the day of his self-immolation, said:

His sacrifice for the cause of Tibet is to be honoured. We echo and support his aspirations. But please remember the life of every Tibetan is precious and we must be alive to fight for our cause.


Information supplied by Tibet Watch