CTA holding a prayer service for Tibetan self-immolators at the Tsug-la Khang in Dharamshala on March 6, 2013. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, March 7: Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters including Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Members of Parliament, staff of the exile Tibetan administration and school students attended a prayer service held in honour of Tibetan self-immolators at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala, Wednesday.
Special prayers were offered for Phagmo Dhondup, Tsezung Kyab, and Sangdag, three of the most recent Tibetan self-immolators, who set themselves on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. Phagmo Dhondup
, a Tibetan in his 20’s set himself ablaze near the Jhakhyung Monastery in Palung region of eastern Tibet on February 24. His died a day later and is survived by his father Shawo and a sibling.
A day later, on February 25, two Tibetans, Tsezung Kyab and Sangdag set themselves on fire in two separate incidents. Tsezung Kyab
, 27, torched himself in front of the main prayer hall of the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu region of eastern Tibet at around 1:30 pm (local time). He passed away at his protest site, the same place where his cousin Pema Dorjee, 23, passed away in his self-immolation protest on December 8, 2012. Sangdag
, a monk of the Dhiphu Monastery, set himself ablaze on a main road in Ngaba district at around 10 am (local time).
The current condition and whereabouts of Sangdag remains unknown.
Since 2009, as many as 107 known Tibetans living under China’s rule have self-immolated demanding the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
Addressing the prayer service, Sikyong Sangay expressed sadness over the Nepalese government’s decision to continue to hold back the body of Tibetan self-immolator Drupchen Tsering (Druptse).
“It is sad that after repeated appeals by the Tibetan official representative in Nepal to hand over Druptse’s body, Nepalese authorities have not yet relented,” Sikyong Sangay, who recently returned from a North America visit said.
Druptse, 25 set himself ablaze
near the holy stupa of Boudhanath in the heart of Nepalese capital city Kathmandu on February 13. He passed away on the same day after suffering 96 percent burns.
Now, even after more than 20 days, Nepalese authorities have maintained that Druptse’s body can legally be handed over only to his parents, family members related in blood or official diplomatic representatives. If these options are not met within 35 days, authorities say they will have legal right over the body.