DHARAMSHALA, September 30: Just two days before the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 63rd National Day, a Tibetan in eastern Tibet has set himself on fire calling for Tibet’s independence.
Yungdrung, a 27-year-old Tibetan man, set himself ablaze in Zatoe town of Yushul, eastern Tibet on September 29, Saturday.
According to India based Tibetan language new portal, Tibet Express, Yungdrung was dressed in complete Tibetan attire and raised multiple slogans as he carried out his self-immolation protest near rows of shops.
“While engulfed in flames, Yungdrung called for independence of Tibet, the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Gyalwang Karmapa from exile, and addressed Dr Lobsang Sangay (the elected leader of Tibetan people) as the king of Tibet,” the report quoted sources as saying.
According to eyewitnesses, Yungdrung was severely burned by the time Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene and whisked him away to an unknown location.
His wellbeing is not clearly known, but the report suggested that Yungdrung passed away this morning while being taken to a nearby place in China.
Tibet Express said that a few days before the incident, Tibetans in the region were forced by Chinese authorities to take part in the filming of a show portraying that Tibetans were happy under Chinese rule.
“The Tibetans expressed their unwillingness to take part in the show this year thus leading to the protest by Yungdrung against the Chinese government,” the report quoted an unnamed source in the region as saying.
Since 2009, a total of 52 known Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile. On June 20
, Ngawang Norphel, 21 and Tenzin Khedup, 24, set themselves on fire in Zatoe town protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet while holding Tibetan national flags in their hands. Both of them have passed away.
Yungdrung’s self-immolation protest comes days after Tibetans in exile met for a grand special meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
In his concluding remarks, Sikyong Dr Sangay said the meeting has succeeded in sending a strong message of Tibetan unity to the Chinese government.
“We came here to show our solidarity and unity with Tibetans inside Tibet and to send a strong message to the Chinese government that we do not tolerate their present policies and the continued occupation of Tibet,” the de facto Tibetan prime minister said.
“We will do whatever we can to support our brothers and sisters in Tibet and we squarely blame the present tragedy in Tibet on the hard-line policies of the Chinese government.”