Tenpa Darjey, 22, seen here in a file photo. (Photo/Kirti monastery)
DHARAMSHALA, April 8: The death toll in the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet has risen to 25, with the passing away of a Tibetan monk who set himself on fire, along with another monk, on March 30 in eastern Tibet.
According to the exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, monk Tenpa Darjey, 22, passed away on April 7 in a Chinese hospital. Earlier reports had indicated he had little chances of survival.
The other monk, Chimey Palden, 21, was declared dead the next day of their self-immolation protest.
“Tenpa Darjey passed away on April 7 at around 9:23 am (local time) at a hospital in the Ngaba area,” Kirit monastery said in a release Saturday.
“Although fervent requests were made to hand over the deceased’s body to the family and the monastery, the Chinese authorities burned Tenpa Darjey’s body at around 1 in the afternoon.”
His ashes and last remain were handed over at around 4 pm.
“Later when his last remains were being carried to the Tsodun Kirti monastery, three large military vehicles followed them,” the release said.
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 March 30, 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.
Chimey Palden’s body was cremated immediately and at 5 am (local time) on March 31, by the Chinese authorities and some of his ashes were handed over to Tsodun monastery.
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.
According to the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, 33 Tibetans in Tibet have torched their bodies since 2009, demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.