DHARAMSHALA, November 24: In more alarming reports coming out of Tibet, another Tibetan set himself on fire in an apparent protest against Chinese rule on Friday, November 23 in Tsekhog (Ch: Zeku) region of eastern Tibet.
Tamding Dorjee, 29, set himself ablaze near the entrance of the local Chinese administrative office of Dokarmo town in Tsekhog region of Malho at around 6:30 pm (local time).
According to exile sources, Tamding Dorjee raised slogans for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with folded hands while engulfed in flames. He passed away at the site of his protest.
Following the self-immolation protest, thousands of local Tibetans gathered to offer prayers and attend the funeral which was carried out later in the night.
Latest reports indicate that local Chinese authorities have cut off Internet and phone lines in an attempt to contain the spread of the news.
With Tamding Dorjee’ self-immolation protest, 81 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in Tibet since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
The alarming escalation in the fiery protests has already witnessed 19 Tibetans burn themselves in the month of November alone with seven self-immolations in the last seven days.
The protests continue even as Chinese authorities announced heightened restrictions and the implementation of a five-point notification giving stern orders to punish self-immolators, their families, their villages and even those who had offered condolences and prayers to the bereaved family members and relatives.”
Prayer service in Dharamshala
Yesterday, thousands of Tibetans and supporters including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Speaker Penpa Tsering, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Kalons, members of parliament, and school students attended a prayer service held in honour of Tibetan self-immolators at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala.
Special prayers were offered for Wangchen Norbu, 18; Tsering Dhundup, 35; and Lubum Gyal, 18 who set themselves on fire in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.
Wangchen Norbu, 25, set himself ablaze on Monday near the Kangtsa Gaden Choephel Ling Monastery. He passed away at the site of his protest.
He raised slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile, release of the Panchen Lama and freedom for Tibet.
On Tuesday, Tsering Dhondup, 35, set himself ablaze on a ground near the entrance of a mining site in Amchok region of Labrang Sangchu. He succumbed to his injuries at the site of his protest.
Tsering Dhondup is survived by his wife Tamding Tso, their three children, and his parents.
Lubum Gyal, 18, set himself ablaze in Dowa town of Rebkong, eastern Tibet on Thursday in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Speaking at the prayer service, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said the prayer services were significant as they send a message of solidarity from exile Tibetans to Tibetans inside Tibet.
“We hold the prayer services in honour of the self-immolators’ families, Tibetans in prison and for those Tibetans who have lost their lives for Tibet,” Sikyong Sangay said.
The Dalai Lama recently told reporters that China’s repressive policies and the unbearable situation in Tibet are forcing Tibetans to set themselves of fire in Tibet.
"The unbearable situation in Tibet is the cause for these unfortunate events. I am very sad about the turn of events. These are symptoms of fear, hard line suppressive policy practiced by China in Tibet. The time has come for China to think more realistically," reporters quoted the Tibetan spiritual leader as saying,