DHARAMSHALA, February 15: A Tibetan father of three set himself on fire in Amchok region of eastern Tibet on February 13, a day observed by Tibetans as the centenary celebrations of His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama’s Proclamation of Tibetan Independence.
Drugpa Khar, 26, set himself on fire in Amchok town in Sangchu region of Kanlho at around 1 pm (local time). He reportedly succumbed to his injuries.
No further details are available about the protest at the time of filing this report.
The self-immolation comes weeks after a court in the region sentenced six Tibetans to lengthy jail terms
of up to 12 years for rescuing the body of Tibetan self-immolator, Dorjee Rinchen, 57, from falling into the hands of Chinese authorities last October.
With Drugpa Khar’s fiery protest, the total number of known self-immolations by Tibetans living under China’s rule has now reached 101. The self-immolators have called for Tibet’s freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
According to exile sources, Drugpa Khar is survived by his parents Tamding Tsering and Tamding Tso. His youngest child is one year old and the eldest is aged six.
On February 13, another Tibetan
self-immolated in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. With 96 per cent burns, the Tibetan monk succumbed to his injuries later that day.
As the number of Tibet self-immolations breached the 100 mark, the International Tibet Network, a global movement of 185 Tibet advocacy organisations, urgently called for “more visible coordination of action” by world governments.
The Network, in a release, accused Chinese authorities of responding to the self-immolation protests with “an even greater crackdown, thereby increasing the chances that more Tibetans will self-immolate.”
"This staggering figure of 100 individual self-immolation protests must bring the world to its senses. This milestone demands widespread condemnation of China's failed policies and of its brutal crackdown in Tibet," said Tenzin Jigme, International Coordinator of the Network. "Each one of these incidents is a personal tragedy, but the combined total of 100 people setting light to themselves in protest warrants an international response. We urgently call on world governments to issue a joint statement of concern on this tragic occasion and to collectively formulate a diplomatic initiative that will directly address China's leaders over the crisis they have created in Tibet."
In a statement released yesterday, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people noted that the ongoing and unprecedented self-immolations by an increasing number of Tibetans in Tibet are the “ultimate acts of civil disobedience against China’s failed rule in Tibet.”
“Concrete steps that the leaders of the world need to take immediately are to send Ms Navi Pillay of UNHCR on a visit to Tibet and investigate the real causes of self immolations, and convene a meeting to discuss and address the crisis in Tibet,” Sikyong Sangay added.