By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA, December 2: Various sources are now confirming that another Tibetan has set himself ablaze in Tibet in an apparent protest against the continued Chinese occupation of Tibet.
Tenzin Phuntsok, a former monk in his forties, reportedly self-immolated in Chamdo area of Tibet on Thursday. Tenzin Phuntsok is believed to have survived the self-immolation and has been taken to a local hospital.
No other details are available at the time of reporting.
Tenzin Phuntsok is being described as a former monk of the Karma monastery in Chamdo.
The entire Chamdo region, especially the Karma monastery have been facing increased repression after unconfirmed reports emerged of a bomb blast at a Chinese government building in Chamdo on October 26.
No casualties had been reported, although, following the blast, the Karma monastery was locked down and strict restrictions were placed on its monks.
Kelsang Gyaltsen, a member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile had told Phayul that the blast could be a plot to frame false charges against Tibetans.
"In 2001, China did the same thing, they falsely accused and jailed Trulku Tenzin Delek, an influential Tibetan religious leader on charges of a bomb blast," he said.
The Karma monastery located on the eastern bank of the Dzachu river in Chamdo was founded by the first Gyalwang Karmapa, the head of Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism in the 12th century.
Repression has been intense in Chamdo, particularly since the 2008 pan-Tibet protests. The area witnessed a dramatic tightening of security and the imposition of ‘emergency’ measures by the authorities according to a notice of strategies issued by Chinese government officials in Chamdo in 2009.
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa in a statement had called the desperate acts of self-immolation being carried out by people with pure motivation as a “cry against the injustice and repression under which they live."
While urging the Chinese leadership to "heed to Tibetans' legitimate demands,” Gyalwang Karmapa said that Beijing "needs to seriously review its policies towards Tibetans and other minorities."
This is the twelfth known case of self-immolation in Tibet since March this year.