Tibetan Student sets self on fire in Sarnath, India

Image shows student Tenzin Choeyang in hospital following his self-immolation protest on July 14
Image shows student Tenzin Choeyang in hospital following his self-immolation protest on July 14
14th July 2017

Young student penned letter stating ‘I burn myself for Tibet’ before staging protest

A 19-year-old Tibetan studying at university in India's northeastern Bihar State has carried out a self-immolation protest.

Tenzin Choeying carried out his protest this morning (14 July) in the campus of Sarnath’s Central University of Tibetan Studies.

According to eyewitnesses, the young man set himself on fire after coming out of a hall of residence and ran about 20 steps shouting "Bod Gyalo, Bod Gyalo (Victory to Tibet, Victory to Tibet)” and then fell to the ground. Those close by extinguished the fire and he was taken to hospital.


He is currently being treated at the Heritage Hospital in the city of Varanasi where doctors say he has suffered burns to two-thirds of his body. The lower part of his body is said to be particularly badly burned.

Tenzin Choeying’s self-immolation took place at the same time that a speech by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay was starting at the university. Lobsang Sangay is currently in nearby Varanasi on an official visit.


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

He left a written note before carrying out the self-immolation, in which he states: "I burn myself for Tibet". 

Almost 150 Tibetans have set themselves alight inside Tibet, with the most recent protest taking place in May of this year. At least eight similar protests have taken place outside Tibet since 1998.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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