DHARAMSHALA, February 20: The fiery wave of self-immolation in Tibet continues to rage on with three Tibetans torching their bodies last week alone.
On Monday Losang Gyatso, a 19 year-old monk at the Kirit monastery in the beleaguered region of Ngaba, eastern Tibet set himself ablaze shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government. He reportedly survived the protest but his whereabouts and well being are not yet known.
On Friday, Dhamchoe Sangpo, a 38 year-old monk from Bongthak Ewam Tare Shedrup Dhargey Ling monastery in Tsongon, Amdo, eastern Tibet set his body on fire during a prayer gathering at the monastery, where several villagers were in attendance. Dhamchoe Sangpo, a teacher at the monastic school was protesting against the repressive policies of the Chinese government, including the intensification of the patriotic re-education campaign at his monastery.
On Sunday, 18-year old Tibetan from Dzamthang, Ngaba, eastern Tibet set himself on fire and died on the spot. According to sources in exile, Nangdrol raised slogans calling for the ‘long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ and ‘freedom for Tibet’.
The monks defied police orders and were able to carry Nangdrol’s charred body back to the monastery where traditional Buddhist rituals were carried out for him.
As pressure and intimidation mounted from the growing numbers of Chinese armed forces at the monastery, Nangdrol was cremated just hours after his death.
More that 1000 people gathered in Dzamthang to keep watch over the body of Nangdrol and pay their last respects.
Nangdrol was the fourth of eight children, and is from Choeje village, Barma township, Dzamthang, the Tibetan area of Amdo.
According to the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, 23 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire since Tapey’s self-immolation in 2009.
The self-immolating monks, nuns, and laymen have demanded the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
Many parts of Tibet are under an undeclared martial law as phone lines and internet connections in many of the tense areas remain cut for nearly a month now.
In the build up to the Tibetan new year on February 22 and the anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, Chinese authorities have banned all outside visitors to Tibet.