Damshung region of central Tibet.
DHARAMSHALA, July 10: There are reports coming in of yet another self-immolation in Tibet by a young Tibetan male in an apparent protest against China’s rule.
Phayul has learned that the self-immolation protest took place in the Damshung region of central Tibet on July 7, a day after Tibetans all over the world celebrated the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“A Tibetan man in his early 20s set himself on fire at around 1 pm (local time) on June 7,” Ven Ngawang Woebar, a former political prisoner currently based in Dharamshala told Phayul.
“He has reportedly suffered around 90 per cent burns and was taken to a Chinese hospital in Lhasa,” Ven. Woebar said citing contacts in the region. “It is not known whether he is alive.”
Details surrounding the identity of the young man and his self-immolation protest are still very hazy.
Since 2009, the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile have now reached 43.
The Dalai Lama, in a recent interview with the Hindu newspaper said he cannot be negative about the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet and noted that it was best for him to remain neutral on this "very, very delicate political issue".
"Now, the reality is that if I say something positive, then the Chinese immediately blame me," the Tibetan spiritual leader said.
"If I say something negative, then the family members of those people feel very sad. They sacrificed their ... life. It is not easy. So I do not want to create some kind of impression that this is wrong."
According to reports, the entire Damshung region, which lies at a midpoint between Nagchu and Lhasa, along the route of the Lhasa rail line, is reportedly under a heavy security clampdown. All modes of communication are being strictly monitored by the Chinese authorities to prevent the news of the self-immolation from spreading.
Damshung, which means "chosen valley" in Tibetan, is a hub of pastoral production and commerce. The region has been subjected to China’s unpopular rangeland policies, including the fencing of grasslands and restrictions over livestock development.