Chimey Palden, 21, seen here in an undated photo. (Photo/Kirti Monastery)
DHARAMSHALA, April 2: The death toll in the ongoing wave of self-immolations is rising, as one of the two Tibetan monks who set themselves on fire on March 30 in eastern Tibet, has been declared dead.
According the exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, monk Chimey Palden, 21, was declared dead the same day of his self-immolation while the other monk Tenpa Darjey, 22, is “not expected to survive.”
The two monks of the Tsodun monastery in Barkham, set themselves on fire in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet on Friday, at around the same time when the body of exile Tibetan self-immolater, Jamphel Yeshi was being cremated with full state honour in the exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala.
The Tsodun monks had self-immolated in Barkham, the seat of the Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture government
and Barkham county government. They were taken by Chinese security personnel to a nearby prefecture hospital and held under strict security.
Information on Chimey Palden’s death came out when a group of over 100 local Tibetans gathered at the hospital the same night, appealing for the two monks to be handed back or the locals be allowed to see the two monks.
“Instead of listening to them, the security forces indiscriminately arrested and beat members of the crowd, many people were injured, and people arrested at the entrance of the hospital were taken into detention,” Kanyag Tsering, a Kirti monk in Dharamshala said.
Tenpa Darjey, 22, seen here in a file photo. (Photo/Kirti monastery)
With the crowd continuing to persist with their demands of meeting the monks, it was later revealed at around midnight that Chimey Palden had passed away.
His body was cremated immediately and at 5 am (local time) on March 31, and some of his ashes were handed over to Tsodun monastery, Kanyag added.
Following the twin self-immolations, the situation in the Barkham region has been described “tense” with large numbers of armed police and special police enforcing a blockade on a bridge leading the Tsodun monastery.
“When serious danger of a confrontation between police and locals developed, the head of the monastery management committee and others intervened and called for both sides to respect each other’s positions so that no incident occurred,” Kanyag said.
“The public were persuaded to stop shouting in protest, and the armed police to
withdraw from the bridge, and for a while, order was restored, but tension remains, and apparently could become critical if the authorities actually enforce a blockade of the monastery and arrest monks.”
According the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, 33 Tibetans in Tibet have torched themselves since 2009, demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.