Hundreds of Tibetans are seen paying their respect to Tamding Thar after his body was released by Chinese authorities on June 15, 2012. (Phayul photo/Ghangri)
DHARAMSHALA, June 15: In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, Tamding Thar, a Tibetan in his 50s, set himself on fire in Amdo Chentsa region of Tibet in an apparent protest against the Chinese government today at around 6:30 am (local time).
Tamding Thar passed away in his fiery protest.
Speaking to Phayul, Ghangri, a monk in south India confirmed the reports.
“We spoke with our sources in the region and they have told us that Tamding Thar is sadly no more,” Ghangri said.
There are also reports of a massive build up of security in the region and the site of Tamding Thar’s fiery protest has been virtually locked down.
“The people we spoke to right now confirmed that Chinese troops are arriving in large numbers in the region,” Ghangri said. “They asked us not to call for some time.”
An hour or so back Woeser, the Tibetan blogger based in Beijing, tweeted that Tamding Thar carried out his fiery protest in front of the local Chinese police station in Chentsa.
Soon after his protest, Chinese security officials doused the flames and forcibly took Tamding Thar away.
According to the Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, following the immolation protest, hundreds of Tibetans gathered in front of the Chinese administration office in the region, demanding the return of Tamding Thar’s body to his family.
Hundreds of Tibetans are seen joining a march carrying the body of Tamding Thar in Chentsa, Amdo on June 15, 2012. (Phayul photo/Ghangri)
“Chinese authorities told the Tibetans gathered there that they will return the body at around 11 am (local time). At around 12 noon (local time), the authorities released the body to the local Tibetans,” TCHRD said in a release today. “The body was then carried to a remote nomadic area in Chentsa County.”
The release added that Tamding Thar belonged to a nomadic family in Lowa village, Chentsathang Township, Chentsa County in Malho. Few years ago Tamding Thar and his family were moved to the county due to the 'nomad relocation' policy of the Chinese government, according to source.
China’s official news agency Xinhua has also confirmed today’s fiery protest without revealing the identity of the self-immolator. The report quoted local authorities as saying that “the person’s identity and cause of the death were under investigation.”
40 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire since 2009 demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.