DHARAMSHALA, November 17: In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, a Tibetan mother of two passed away in her self-immolation protest today in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Chagmo Kyi, a native of Rebkong Meypa Khagya village in eastern Tibet, self-immolated at the Dolma Square in front of Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong at around 4 pm (local time). She is believed to have been around 27 years of age and has two children.
According to the Dharamshala based rights group, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Chagmo Kyi passed away at the site of her protest. Her body was later taken to the Rongwo Monastery where thousands of Tibetans reportedly gathered to offer prayers.
“At around 7 pm (local time), Kyi’s body was moved to a cremation site on a nearby hill behind Rongwo Monastery,” TCHRD said. “At the cremation site, a large number of Tibetans were loudly reciting Mani mantras and special prayers associated with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Monks were carrying out preparations to cremate the body.”
Various sources have told Phayul that a large number of Chinese armed forces have been deployed in the region, further increasing tensions. Severe restrictions on the movement of local Tibetans in Rebkong region, which alone has seen eight self-immolation protests in November, have been placed. Last week, thousands of Tibetans, including school students, took out massive demonstrations and protest rallies demanding rights of the Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
The alarming escalation in self-immolation protests in Tibet, which began in 2009, has now witnessed 75 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom for Tibet.
In his inaugural address this week at the ongoing special meeting of Tibetan supporters in Dharamshala, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people blamed China’s “continued occupation of Tibet, its failed policies, including economic marginalisation, environmental destruction, cultural assimilation, and denial of religious freedom” as causes of the self-immolation protests.
He also dismissed accusations being made by the Chinese government of blaming Tibetans in exile for instigating the protests as “absolutely baseless.”