Jigjey Kyab in an undated photo.
DHARAMSHALA, January 24: A teenaged Tibetan was found dead with his body doused with kerosene and lighters in his hand due to suspected poisoning in Luchu region of eastern Tibet.
On January 19, the body of Jigjey Kyab, 17, soaked with kerosene and with two lighters in his hands, was recovered from a busy street in the Shigtsang Pungkor region of Luchu.
"Jigjey Kyab made an attempt to self-immolate but he apparently died before he could set himself on fire" said Lhamo Kyab, a former political prisoner living in Dharamshala. "He had reportedly consumed poison prior to his self-immolation protest to ensure that he didn’t fall into the hands of the Chinese authorities alive.”
In earlier instances, surviving Tibetan self-immolators have suffered amputations of all limbs, verbal abuse, interrogations, and maltreatment by doctors and Chinese officials at the hospitals. The condition of more than a dozen Tibetan self-immolators remains unknown.
Following the incident, local Chinese security personnel visited the deceased’s family for interrogations.
In a last note left by his bedside, which was later found by his family members, Jigjey Kyab has called on Tibetans to rise up.
"I pray that my aspirations will be fulfilled. If you are your mother’s son - rise up. Sons of the Land of Snows - rise up. Singers of the Snow Land - rise up. May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for thousands of aeons. My respect to the white snow lion (symbol of Tibet). My prayers for happiness in Tibet."
Jigjey Kyab's last hand written note.
He further made an emotion appeal to his parents in his handwritten note written in Tibetan, dated January 19, the day of his self-immolation attempt.
"Father and mother, it is my hope that you will take care of yourselves. You are the most loving people in this world. I will repay your kindness in my next life."
According to the same source, Jigjey Kyab was cremated three days later on January 22, after perceived pressure and warnings from the Chinese authorities.
Jigjey Kyab is survived by his father Dhugkar Kyab, mother Dekyi Tso and sister Choekyong Tso.
Jigjey Kyab’s parents remember him as “an obedient and well-mannered boy, who was patriotic and felt strongly for the Tibetan self-immolators.”
Last month, Pema Dorjee
, 23, passed away in his fiery protest in Luchu, while raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet’s independence. Four self-immolations have occurred in the Luchu region alone.
Since 2009, as many as 98 known Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet protesting China’s continued occupation and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.