By Tendar Tsering
The Samdrupling Jonang monastery in Barma, Dzamthang, eastern Tibet. (Photo courtesy/Tsangyang Gyatso)
DHARAMSHALA, February 24: Following the recent self-immolation death of a teenaged Tibetan Nangdrol and mass protests in Dzamthang, Ngaba, monks of the Samdrupling Jonang monastery in the region are reportedly fleeing the monastery fearing persecution from Chinese government authorities.
"Following the protests, Chinese authorities have banned all the religious activities and ritual ceremonies in the monastery," Tsangyang Gyatso, monk with links in the region said.
"Because of the large presence of Chinese security personnel at the monastery and increasing political pressure, many of the monks are fleeing to the mountains fearing further persecution from Chinese government authorities," Gyatso added.
On January 26, Tibetans living in Barma, Dzamthang region participated in a large demonstration against the Chinese government. Security personnel responded by firing indiscriminately on the protestors, killing a young Tibetan named Orgyen and critically wounding several others.
On February 24, eighteen-year-old Nangdrol set himself on fire in front of the Samdrupling Jonang monastery in Barma village. With folded hands, Nangdrol called for freedom in Tibet and return of the Dalai Lama from exile. He died on the spot.
According to the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, 23 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire since Tapey’s self-immolation in 2009.
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 New York, the three Tibetans entered their third day of indefinite fast in front of the United Nations headquarters today. They are appealing the United Nations to immediately send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet, put pressure on China – to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet, to allow international media inside Tibet, to release all political prisoners including Gedun Choekyi Nyima and Tulku Tenzin Delek, and to stop the “patriotic re-education” campaign in Tibet.