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Breaking: Tibet burns with another fiery protest, Toll climbs to 105
Phayul[Sunday, February 24, 2013 23:21]
Chinese police encircle local Tibetans marking the Tibetan new year Losar in Kumbum eastern Tibet.
Chinese police encircle local Tibetans marking the Tibetan new year Losar in Kumbum eastern Tibet.
DHARAMSHALA, February 24: Reports are coming in of yet another self-immolation in Tibet today in protest against China’s rule.

Phagmo Dhondup, a Tibetan man aged in his 20s, set himself on fire in the ancient Jhakhyung Monastery in Palung region of Tshoshar, eastern Tibet.

According to Sonam, a Tibetan living in Swiss, Phagmo Dhondup carried out his protest within the monastery premises at around 8 pm (local time).

“The monks at the Monastery have rushed Phagmo Dhondup to a nearby hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment,” Sonam told Phayul.

“At the Monastery, monks are holding a prayer service for Phagmo Dhondup.”

No additional information on his condition as well as his fiery protest is available at the time of filing this report.

Local Chinese authorities immediately stepped up security following the self-immolation and dispatched a large contingent of security personnel at Monastery, the same source said.

Phagmo Dhondup is a native of Tsaphuk town of Palung region.

He is survived by father Shawo and a sibling.

Since 2009, as many as 105 known Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Nine self-immolations have already taken place inside Tibet since the beginning of the new year, in addition to Tibetan monk Drupchen Tsering's self-immolation protest in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 13.

The Chinese government has responded to the protests with a slew of measures resulting in a further clampdown on the fundamental rights and freedom of the Tibetan people.

Local officials have been given stern orders “to punish self-immolators and their families; even those who had offered condolences and prayers to the bereaved family members and relatives.”

China has criminalised the self-immolations and recently sentenced a Tibetan to death with a two year reprieve and several others to lengthy jail terms of up to 13 years on charges of “instigating” and “abetting” the protests.

In a statement released earlier this month, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people noted that the unprecedented self-immolations by an increasing number of Tibetans 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 said.
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