DHARAMSHALA, February 17: Yet another Tibetan has died in the continuing wave of self-immolation in Tibet.
Dhamchoe Sangpo, a monk from Bongthak Ewam Tare Shedrup Dhargey Ling monastery in the Tsongon region of Amdo, eastern Tibet set his body on fire at around 6 am local time in an apparent protest against the Chinese government.
The Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, in a release today said that Dhamchoe Sangpo, 38, passed away soon after his self-immolation protest.
Dhamchoe Sangpo was the youngest of ten siblings.
Following earlier protest by a monk identified as Kalsang from the Bongthak monastery against a planned silver mining project in the region, the monastery had been facing severe repression from local Chinese government authorities.
“Off late, Chinese armed forces had surrounded the monastery with military vehicles, hindering the monastery’s prayer ceremonies and warning the monks of sealing the monastery if they failed to behave,” the release said.
Although there are no further details available on Dhamchoe Sangpo’s self-immolation, Chinese government officials and armed forces are currently carrying out door to door searches at the monastery.
“The monastery is under a military lockdown and the situation there is very tense,” the Tibetan Parliament said.
Since Tapey's self-immolation in 2009, 24 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of Tibetan spiritual His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China's continued occupation of Tibet.
The exile Tibetan leadership and rights groups have expressed fear of more self-immolations and further bloodshed in Tibet following an undeclared martial law in many Tibetan areas and the violent crackdown over peaceful protests in recent weeks.
The Tibetan Parliament, in an open letter addressed to the president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, had urged him to withdraw the large military reinforcements from Tibetan areas and take measure to give due consideration to the aspirations of the Tibetan people.
The letter also urged President Hu to “stop policies and programmes aimed at destroying the identity of the Tibetan people” while calling for the resumption of “dialogue with the Tibetans with the commitment and conviction to seek a lasting solution to the issue of Tibet.”