An undated photo of Shichung
DHARAMSHALA, September 28: A Tibetan man died after setting himself on fire today around 4.30 PM(local time) in Gomang Thawa township in Ngaba County, reported the Tibet Times
Engulfed in flames, Shichung, 41, ran from his house towards the main road before collapsing, a Tibetan monk from south India told the the Tibet Times
. He succumbed to his burns and passed away at the site of his protest.
Following his self-immolation protest, local Tibetans tried to take the body to his home but were confronted by Chinese security personnel numbering over 150, who were already stationed for the Man-sTon
festival, which involves collection of lists of prayers local Tibetans have said at home and an entertainment show. The locals did manage to take the body to his home but the authorities eventually confiscated the body and drove with it towards Ngaba county.
Every year, the local Tibetans of Gomang Thawa township gather for the religious festival called Man-sTon
. Shichung had just returned to his home after the program today. He had lit a butter lamp in front of a portrait of the exile Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama before setting himself on fire.
He also reportedly told his friend yesterday during the preparations for the festival where police were patrolling, “These Chinese will not let us live, I think I should burn myself in front of them.”
Shichung is survived by his wife and two children.
Since 2009, as many as 121 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet calling for freedom in Tibet and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.