DHARAMSHALA, July 10: The Tibetan man who set himself on fire on July 7 has now been identified as Tsewang Dorjee, a 22-year-old nomad from Damshung, central Tibet.
The Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in a release today said Tsewang Dorjee set himself on fire in the centre of Damshung, at a place of where people gather in large numbers.
“Tsewang Dorjee raised slogans and set himself on fire in protest against the Chinese government,” the Tibetan Parliament said. “Barely three minutes into his protest, Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene, doused the flames and took him to a hospital.”
The parliament also expressed fears of his death.
“No one was allowed to meet him after his protest. Reports suggest that Tsewang Dorjee passed away later that night.”
He is survived by his old mother.
Earlier reports had indicated that Tsewang Dorjee was taken to a hospital in the adjoining city of Lhasa with no reports about his well-being.
The Tibetan Parliament noted that the entire Damshung region is currently reeling under a heavy lockdown and people who witnessed Tsewang Dorjee’s self-immolation have since been arrested.
“All communication lines have been cut in Damshung. Even for people living in the nearby areas such as Lhasa are unable to reach Damshung.”
“The Chinese authorities in the region have arrested all the people who witnessed Tsewang Dorjee’s self-immolation protest and have passed strict orders barring anyone from speaking about the protest,” the release said.
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.
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.