Lungrig Dorjee in an undated photo.
DHARAMSHALA, December 28: A Tibetan school student in south India has attempted to set himself on fire in solidarity with the wave of self-immolations inside Tibet and in protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
On November 24, Lungrig Dorjee, a ninth grade student at the Tibetan Children’s Village School, Bylakuppe was seen and stopped minutes before he was could put a matchstick to his body doused in inflammable liquid.
“Lungrig had skipped the function on the day when the school was to break for its annual winter vacations,” Lobsang Yeshi, a Tibetan member of parliament based in the largest Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe said. “Instead, he doused himself in diesel in an area nearby the school premises. Alert onlookers saw him and were able to stop him minutes before he tried to set himself ablaze.”
“Lungrig then went to some other location to make yet another attempt at self-immolation but he was stopped by local people and school teachers.”
Later, speaking about his self-immolation attempt, Lungrig said the ongoing security crackdown inside Tibet by Chinese authorities has further restricted the basic freedoms of the Tibetan people and stifled all information coming out of the region.
“And as a person living in a free country, I thought with my self-immolation I could make the world aware of the critical situation inside Tibet.”
Lungrig was born in Tibet and escaped into exile to study. He keenly follows the situation inside Tibet and took active participation in the school co-curricular activities.
Earlier in November, a Tibetan college student
was arrested for attempting to set himself on fire at a protest rally in the Indian capital New Delhi.
Tsultrim Dorjee, a Delhi University student, tried to self-immolate just before a mass protest rally was to begin from Rajghat, memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Nearby Tibetans saw him dousing petrol over his body and quickly intervened and prevented him from setting himself on fire. He was then detained by police and released after the protest rally ended.
95 known Tibetans inside Tibet, including monks and nuns, young mothers and students, artists and writers, farmers and nomads, have self-immolated since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile
The exile Tibetan administration has maintained that the reasons for the self-immolations are self-evident: political repression, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation.
“The blame and solution for the present tragedy in Tibet lies entirely with Beijing,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, said earlier this month. “We firmly believe that an end to repression will effectively end the cycle self-immolation."