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Land seizure protests in Keygudo prompts self-immolation
Phayul[Wednesday, July 04, 2012 23:30]
DHARAMSHALA, July 4: The Tibetan woman who self-immolated in Keygudo, eastern Tibet, last Wednesday has now been identified as Dickyi Choezom, a mother of two in her 40s.

Phayul had earlier quoted the Beijing based Tibetan writer Woeser on reports of the self-immolation.

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in a release Monday said that Dickyi Choezom set herself on fire on June 27, at around 2 pm (local time) in Keygu town near the Dhondupling Monastery.

“Dickyi Choezom set herself on fire during a public protest against Chinese government policies of forced eviction and land seizures in the region,” the Tibetan Parliament said.

“Around 70 Tibetan families, taking part in the protest, were raising slogans for ‘Right over our own land’ and ‘Rights over our own wealth.’”

Chinese security personnel at the scene of the protest doused the flames and took Dickyi Choezom away, reportedly to a hospital in Siling. There is no further information available on her wellbeing.

Speaking to Phayul, Lobsang Sangay, an exile monk with contacts in the region said that following Dickyi Choezom’s self-immolation, two of her relatives, who were both taking part in the protest, were severely beaten and briefly arrested.

“Tashi Yangzom and Tashi Dhondup were singled out, severely beaten and arrested by the police,” Sangay said. “Many of the gathered Tibetans demanded their release, threatening to set themselves on fire. The two were released later in the day carrying serious injuries.”

Tibetans in Keygudo have been protesting China’s redevelopment plans that have ousted them from their ancestral lands to make way for government buildings following the devastating April 2010 earthquake.

In April last year, around 300 Tibetans had led a mass protest in the main intersection of the town against the government takeover of their land. Many of the protesters were wounded and several detained in the bloody crackdown that followed.

Dickyi Choezom’s self-immolation came exactly a week after two young Tibetans, Ngawang Norphel and Tenzin Khedup self-immolated in the region demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.

The Tibetan parliament condemned the repressive policies of the Chinese government, blaming them for the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet.

“Until China changes its repressive policies, self-immolations will continue inside Tibet,” the lawmakers said. “China must bear full responsibility for the protests.”
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