Gyalrig Thar in an undated photo.
DHARAMSHALA, February 5: A Tibetan man has succumbed to his injuries, nine months after he sustained severe injuries in a violent police crackdown on peaceful protest in Ba Dzong region of eastern Tibet. During the same protest on March 18, 2012, a Tibetan minor was killed and several others were injured after Chinese police used tear gas and explosives to disperse the crowd.
According to Sonam, an exiled Tibetan, Gyalrig Thar, 35 passed away in a hospital in Siling after failing to recover from severe injuries to his head caused by the use of explosives and brutal police beatings. He passed away on November 17, 2012.
“During the nine months Gyalrig Thar spent in hospitals, he wasn’t able to utter a word,” Sonam said citing sources in the region. “Even after checkups at various hospitals revealed that he didn’t have much chance at survival, Chinese authorities operated on his head as many as three times.”
According to the Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Thar had become too weak to even “consume or retain his food or medicine in his body.”
On March 18, 2012, Thar participated in a peaceful protest march of over a thousand Tibetans in Ba Dzong or Gepasumdo region, demanding the release of over 50 monks of the Shingtri Monastery. Three days before, on March 15, the Shingtri monks had carried out a peaceful protest, calling for the “return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” “freedom” and “equal respect for the Tibetan language.”
The monks, carrying the banned Tibetan national flags, had marched to the local Chinese government office.
According to TCHRD, Thar had joined the peaceful protest calling on the Chinese authorities to release the detained monks. When Chinese authorities didn’t release the monks, the protests outside the local government office intensified in the afternoon.
The body of Gyalrig Thar placed under a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“Just then, a group of security forces including armed police rushed in to stop the protest. Sources said local police used excessive force including tear gas shells and explosives to quell the protest,” the group said. “Other sources last year also reported that police used grenades to control the unarmed Tibetan protesters.”
A 12-year-ol Tibetan boy died in the violent crackdown and many others were injured and hospitalised under strict surveillance.
Gyarig Thar was born in Gon-gongma Tagkor Village in Ba Dzong in Tsolho region of eastern Tibet. He is survived by his 10 family members including father, Gonpo, mother, Tsering Tso, sons Chagthar Gyal, 13, and Taglha Tsering, 10.
The year 2012 witnessed as many as 83 self-immolations and a series of mass protests against Chinese rule in Tibet. Chinese authorities have used violent force and live ammunition to quell the protests and sentenced Tibetans found “guilty” of airing their views to lengthy jail terms.