Firefighter teams are posted to Tiananmen Square in Beijing, last November during the 18th Communist Party Congress. (Photo/Tom Lasseter/McClatchy)
DHARAMSHALA, January 14: In reports finally emerging, an elderly Tibetan woman apparently self-immolated in China’s capital city of Beijing in September last year. She is believed to have set herself on fire in protest against illegal land grabbing by Chinese authorities in the Keygudo region of eastern Tibet following the devastating 2010 earthquake.
According to the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, Passang Lhamo, a 62-year-old native of Keygudo torched herself on September 13, 2012 after “repeated appeals to the central authorities in Beijing failed to yield any concrete results.”
She was reportedly taken to hospital where she was treated for "severe burn injuries."
Passang Lhamo was forced to head to Beijing after local authorities in Keygudo refused to allow her to retain her ancestral home following the major rebuilding process in the region.
According to CTA, a series of “illegal land grabbing by Chinese authorities have left hundreds of Tibetans homeless” in Keygudo region.
“Despite the much propagated hype around the Chinese government’s overwhelming relief efforts to resettle affected Tibetan families, the ground realities have remained a far cry from the promises made by the central government,” a report on its official website tibet.net
Growing resentment against the Chinese government’s reconstruction plans last year saw the self-immolation protest by a Tibetan mother of two
in Keygudo town.
Dickyi Choezom had set herself on fire on June 27 in Keygu town near the Dhondupling Monastery during a public protest against Chinese government policies of forced eviction and land seizures. She was reportedly taken to a hospital in Siling following which no information on her wellbeing and whereabouts have been made available.
Around 70 Tibetan families had taken part in the protest, raising slogans for ‘Right over our own land’ and ‘Rights over our own wealth.’
Tibetans in Keygudo have been protesting China’s redevelopment plans that have ousted them from their ancestral lands to make way for government buildings following the devastating April 2010 earthquake.
In 2011, around 300 Tibetans had led a mass protest in the main intersection of the town against the government takeover of their land. Many of the protesters were wounded and several were detained in the bloody crackdown that followed.