By Phuntsok Yangchen
Charred body of Dhondup
DHARAMSHALA, October 22: In less than 48 hours of the self immolation of Lhamo Kyab on Saturday in Sangchu county, another Tibetan man from the same county has set himself on fire earlier today in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Sonam, a monk of Drepung Monastery in South India, said Dhondup, 61, of Hor Khagya (spelled as pronounced) set himself ablaze at 9:47 am (local time) on the main road near Labrang Monastery in Sangchu County, Eastern Tibet. He became the oldest Tibetan from Tibet to end his life due to self-immolation.
Sonam cited eyewitnesses saying people circumambulating the monastery formed human cover around Dhondup’s charred body to stop it from getting into the hands of Chinese authorities. Later, the management committee of the monastery took Dhondup to hospital where he was declared dead.
Dhondup is survived by his wife Dolma Tso and foster son Rinzin Choephel.
The same source said no further details were available due to tense situation and heavy security presence in the area.
On Saturday, Lhamo Kyab died near Bora monastery in Sangchu county moments after he set himself on fire.
The month of October alone has witnessed five deaths due to self-immolation in Tibet. The deceased were Gudrub, 43, Sangya Gyatso, 27, Tamdin Dorjee, 52, Lhamo Kyab, 27 and Dhondup, 61.
The Central Tibetan Administration has reiterated its appeal for global intervention to end the crisis in Tibet
“We again strongly reiterate our long-standing appeal to the international community to press the Chinese government to end the deepening crisis in Tibet,” said Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of the Information & International Relations.
“The tragic self-immolations by Tibetans would stop only if the Chinese government address their genuine and long-standing grievances, and find a lasting solution to the problem of Tibet through dialogue,”
The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 57 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.