Kalon Pema Chinnjor addressing a prayer service held in honour of Tibetan self-immolator Tamdin Dorjee at the Tsug-la Khang in Dharamshala on Ocotber 17, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, October 17: A mass prayer service was held today in the exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala in honour of Tamdin Dorjee, who set himself ablaze in protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet on October 13.
Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters, including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Kalons, Parliamentarians and school students attended the prayer service held at the Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in McLeod Ganj.
Tamdin Dorjee, 52, set himself on fire at around 1 pm (local time) on October 13, Saturday in Tsoe, Kanlho region of north-eastern Tibet. He carried out his fiery protest near a white stupa beside Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery, the same site where Dolkar Tso, a mother of two, self-immolated on August 7.
Tamdin Dorjee, who is the grandfather of the 7th Gungthang Rinpoche, Lobsang Geleg Tenpe Khenchen, a prominent young Tibetan reincarnate lama at the Labrang Tashikyil monastery, passed away at the site of his protest.
His body was later taken to his home, following which a prayer service was conducted by monks at the Tsoe Monastery. Earlier reports said that Chinese security forces had moved into the region, sealing off the Monastery and placing severe restrictions around the area.
Pema Chinnjor, Kalon of the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA in his address at the prayer service said Tibetans in exile must shoulder the responsibility of making the world aware of the critical situation inside Tibet.
“Tibetans inside Tibet are sacrificing their lives for our nation and it is the responsibility of us Tibetans in exile to use international press and media to tell the world about the critical situation inside Tibet and the series of self-immolations that continues to spread,” Kalon Chinnjor said.
In August, while addressing members of international press in the Indian capital New Delhi, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay had expressed disappointment at the global response to the unfolding crisis inside Tibet.
"Ignoring us or not supporting us might send a message to other marginalised groups around the world that perhaps it is not worth investing in democracy and non-violence,” Sikyong Dr Sangay had told reporters.
A new report by the United States Congress released this month found that the increasing use of repressive measures by the Chinese government and the failure of the stalled Sino-Tibet dialogue process were concurrent with the demands of the growing number of Tibetan self-immolations.
The bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China in its 2012 Annual Report said that during the reporting year, the incidence of Tibetans resorting to self-immolation “accelerated sharply” with the Chinese government refusing to accept its policy failure in Tibet.
“The Party and government have not indicated any willingness to consider Tibetan grievances in a constructive manner and to hold themselves accountable for Tibetan rejection of Chinese policies, and handled the crisis as a threat to state security and social stability instead of as a policy failure,” the report said.
Since 2009, 55 Tibetans have set themselves on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Freedom in Tibet.