DHARAMSHALA, November 15: In confirmed reports, another Tibetan set himself on fire today in the Rebkong region of eastern Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.
Khabum Gyal, 18, self-immolated near Rongwo town at around 11 am (local time). He passed away in his fiery protest.
“Monks from the Rebkong Tsagya Monastery and a large number of local Tibetans are carrying out the last rites of martyr Khabum Gyal right now,” Sonam, a Tibetan living in exile with close contacts in the region told Phayul.
Khabum Gyal is survived by his parents, Tamding Gyal and Dolkar Tso and six siblings.
“Details on the self-immolation protest are scanty and no photos have yet come out,” Sonam added.
This is sixth self-immolation in Rebkong region in the month of November alone. Earlier reports had indicated that Chinese authorities have deployed a large number of addition security forces in the Rebkong region and cut off power supply and communication channels.
73 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
The Dharamshala based exile Tibetan administration has said that it will observe a Global Solidarity Day on the occasion of the Human Rights Day on December 10 following the continuing wave of self-immolations.
The Central Tibetan Administration noted that the escalation in self-immolations “clearly reflect the gravity of Tibet’s current situation,” while urging Tibetans and supporters to “light a candle or lamp, observe a minute’s silence, and a say a prayer for all those who have died for the cause of Tibet, and locally organise vigils and rallies.”
“Despite our repeated appeals not to take drastic actions, self-immolations continue in Tibet,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people said. “Therefore, I appeal to the international community and governments to stand for justice by answering the universal aspirations of Tibetans in Tibet: the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.”