DHARAMSHALA, November 12: Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet have banned Tibetan monks from offering condolences and joining prayer rituals to observe the demise of a teenage monk who passed away in his self-immolation protest against Chinese rule on November 7 in Ngoshul Village in Gomang region of Ngaba.
Dorjee, 15, a monk from the Ngoshul Monastery carried out a triple self-immolation protest
with two other monks from the same monastery, Samdup and Dorjee Kyap, both 16. The three young monks set themselves ablaze shouting slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibet in front of the Chinese Public Security Bureau office of Gomang.
Dorjee passed away at the site of protest, while Samdup and Dorjee Kyab reportedly survived the self-immolation and are currently believed to be in a hospital in Ngaba.
Dharamshala based rights group, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in a release Sunday said local Chinese authorities on November 8, a day after the protest, handed over some ashes to Dorjee’s family, saying it was of the deceased’s. Dorjee’s charred body had been taken into police custody soon after he succumbed to his injuries.
“The Chinese authorities have banned monks from Ngoshul Monastery to offer condolences and join prayer rituals to observe the death of a teen monk who died after setting himself on fire in protest against the Chinese government,” TCHRD said.
“From the moment news spread about the multiple self-immolation, local Tibetans and monks in Ngoshul Village have begun making visits to the monks' families expressing solidarity and support and joining in the prayer ceremony,” the rights group said. “Monks from Ngoshul Monastery have been barred from participating in the prayer rituals at the deceased's home.”
TCHRD also reported of deployment of People's Armed Police at Ngoshul Monastery and Gomang.
The group said no conclusive reports on the condition of Samdum and Dorjee Kyab could be gathered due to the “extreme difficulty in gathering information and the prevalence of extreme secrecy regarding the whereabouts and condition of both the monks.”
TCHRD cited sources as saying that it cannot be confirmed whether the monks are alive or about the location of the hospital where they are believed to be undergoing treatment.
The alarming escalation in self-immolations last week, which saw seven Tibetans set themselves on fire, coincided with the Chinese Communist Party’s weeklong 18th National Congress, which began Thursday in Beijing. The meeting is expected to end with the transfer of power to Vice President Xi Jinping, who will govern the country for a decade.
70 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze since the fiery protests began in 2009, protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet.