DHARAMSHALA, February 13: Tenzin Choedron, the 18-year-old nun who self-immolated on February 11 in Ngaba, eastern Tibet passed away earlier today.
The Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in a release today said Tenzin Choedron passed away at a Chinese military hospital in Barkham area this morning.
“Tenzin Choedron’s father has been told that her body will not be handed over to the family for the last rites,” the release said.
Tenzin Choedron, a nun from the Mamae nunnery, the largest nunnery in the Ngaba region had set her body on fire at 6 pm on February 11 calling for the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
According to eyewitnesses, Tenzin Choedron did not die on the spot and was immediately taken away by Chinese security personnel towards Barkham.
Following the self-immolation, Chinese armed forces had surrounded the Mamae Dechen Chokhorling nunnery and sealed it off.
In the release, the Tibetan Parliament reminded the Chinese leadership in Beijing that they were in a position to either listen to the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people or make the situation worse by carrying on with their repressive policies and violent military crackdown.
In a letter to the Chinese President Hu Jintao sent last month, the Tibetan lawmakers had called for an immediate stop to the “policies and programmes aimed at destroying the identity of the Tibetan people,” while demanding a Tibetan fact finding delegation to be allowed to visit Tibet.
The Tibetan Parliament had warned that if the Chinese leadership failed to respond to the “legitimate concerns” of the Tibetan people in a “humane way,” Beijing would be held responsible for “any adverse consequences.”
Nun Tenzin Choedron’s self-immolation came just days after another teenaged Tibetan youngster from Ngaba, Rigzin Dorje and a Tibetan monk Sonam Rabyang from Kyigudo torched their bodies protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Since monk Tapey’s self-immolation in 2009, 23 Tibetans have set their bodies of fire in Tibet, with ten of the self-immolations occurring this year alone.
Many parts of Tibet remain cut off from outside world with a prevailing situation of undeclared martial law following mass protests in recent weeks in which at least a dozen Tibetans are feared dead in police firings on unarmed protesters.
Attempts by international media agencies to enter Tibetan regions facing unrest have been foiled and media crew detained and threatened by Chinese security personnel.