Tibetan protests continue into Xi Jinping era

Monday, 26 November 2012

Three more Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet is the past two days as demands for freedom continue despite the change in Chinese leadership.

An 18-year-old named Kunchok Tsering, self-immolated at around 4pm (local time) today at Amchog township, Sangchu County, Eastern Tibet (1). He died at the scene of his protest.

Kunchok Tsering lived as a nomad and had an 18-year-old wife. His body has been taken to his home where local people and monks from Amchog Monastery have gathered.

He is the second man from the same town to set himself on fire in protest in less than a week. Last Tuesday (20 November), Tsering Dhondup, a 34-year-old father of three also set himself on fire and died (2).

At 11.25 this morning (local time), Wangyal, a student of Serthar County National Middle School set himself on fire in Serthar County, Kandze prefecture, Eastern Tibet (1).

An eyewitness said he was shouting slogans for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. Wangyal ran towards a statue in the middle of the county town; a location where Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel regularly patrol.

Right after he fell to the ground, Chinese military and PSB personnel arrived, put out the flames and took Wangyal to the county hospital. His current condition and whereabouts are unknown but locals say he was severely injured.

Elsewhere, a 17-year-old nun, Sangye Dolma, self-immolated yesterday in Warkhor village, Dorkarmo Township, Tsekhok county, Malho, Eastern Tibet (2).

Sangye Dolma set herself on fire around 10pm last night (local time). She died at the scene.

Local people and monks gathered this morning and cremated her body.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“We are now receiving reports of self-immolation protests on an almost daily basis. Allied to the many other forms of protests which Tibetans are undertaking – marching, leafleting, displaying banned images and exerting Tibetan culture – it forms an unimpeachable argument for an end to Chinese occupation.

“This Tibet Spring will not end until the Tibetan people feel that they have the freedom they desire.”

Notes to editors
1. Chinese: Amuquhu, Xiahe, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.
2. http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/pr/further-tibet-protests-underline-escalation
3. Chinese: Seda County, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province.
4. Chinese: Duohemao, Zeku, Huangnan, Qinghai Province

Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.
For further information and interviews please contact Free Tibet’s Director Stephanie Brigden:
T: +44 (0)20 7324 4605
M: +44 (0)7971 479515
E: Stephanie@freetibet.org
S: stephaniefreetibet