Tibetan self-immolator Tsebhe in an undated photo.
DHARAMSHALA, January 12: In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, a young Tibetan man set himself on fire today in the Amchok region of eastern Tibet in continued protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.
Tsering Tashi (Tsebhe), 22 years of age, succumbed to his injuries at his protest site.
Speaking to Phayul, Ajam Amchok, an exiled Tibetan with close contacts in the region said Tsebhe self-immolated in the middle of Amchok town in Sangchu region of Kanlho, eastern Tibet.
“Tsebhe set himself on fire in Amchok town at around 1 pm (local time),” Ajam said. “He succumbed to his injuries at the protest site following which local Tibetans were able to rescue his body from falling into the hands of Chinese security personnel.”
The same source noted that getting further information on today’s fiery protest is “very difficult” as his contacts are wary of growing Chinese surveillance and monitoring on all modes of communication.
“All that we know as of now is that Tsebhe’s body has been carried to his home in Keynang village and monks are performing prayers,” Ajam said.
Tsebhe’s self-immolation protest, the 96th known instance in Tibet since 2009, marks the continuation of the fiery protests into the new year.
Burning body of Tsebhe, who self-immolated in Amchok region of Sangchu in Kanlho, eastern Tibet on January 12, 2013, protesting Chinese rule over Tibet.
The protests recorded an alarming spike in November last, coinciding with the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, during which 28 Tibetans set themselves on fire. The self-immolators have demanded freedom in Tibet and the return of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Following the wave of self-immolation protests, Chinese authorities in the region have announced cash rewards for those “exposing crimes” related to the self-immolation protests and issued an ultimatum warning those who have “committed fault” to turn themselves in.
Despite repeated international calls for restraint and reconsideration of its policies, China has hardened its stance on the self-immolation protests and announced stricter measures including pressing of murder charges against anyone caught aiding or inciting self-immolations.
(Updated on January 13, 2013 IST 10:55)