Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking at a prayer service presided over by HE Kirti Rinpoche at the Tsug-la Khang on January 23, 2013. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, January 23: The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration today organised a special prayer service for Tibetan self-immolators Drubchog and Kunchok Kyab at the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple.
The prayer service led by H.E the 11th Kirti Rinpoche was attended by hundreds of Tibetans and supporters including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Kalons, and Tibetan Parliamentarians.
Speaking at the prayer session, Sikyong Dr Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, paid tribute to Drubchog and Kunchok Kyab.
Drubchog torched his body in protest against China’s rule on January 18 in Khyungchu region of eastern Tibet. He passed away at the site of his protest.
According to eyewitnesses, Drubchog, before setting himself on fire said ‘Gyalwang Tenzin Gyatso’ (His Holiness the Dalai Lama) with his hands joined together in prayer.
His father Kyogpo, later told a group of visitors who had come to offer their condolences that he doesn’t have “an iota of regret” as his son “died for the justice and freedom” of the Tibetan people.
Drubchog is survived by his wife and two children.
Kunchok Kyab, 26 self-immolated on January 22 near the Bora Monastery in Labrang region of eastern Tibet. He passed away in his fiery protest following which a large number of Chinese armed forces and special security personnel were deployed in the region.
Kunchok Kyab is survived by his wife Kharmo Thar and their infant son.
Since 2009, as many as 98 known Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet protesting China’s continued occupation and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Despite repeated appeals by the exile Tibetan administration to refrain from such drastic acts, Tibetan self-immolations have persisted.
The CTA maintains that the current situation in Tibet has stemmed from “several decades of Chinese misrule in Tibet” and discontent of the Tibetan people arising from “political repression, cultural assimilation, economic marginalisation, and environmental destruction.”
Currently, three delegations of the Tibetan parliament are leading lobbying campaigns all over India as part of the exile administration’s attempts at garnering wider support for international intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
The Kashag and the Tibetan parliament will also be jointly organising an intensive four-day solidarity campaign
in the Indian capital New Delhi from January 30 – February 2, featuring prayer sessions, day-long fast, peace marches and speeches by prominent Indian leaders.