Tibetan self-immolator Wangchen Dolma in an undated photo
DHARAMSHALA, June 17: Wangchen Dolma, the Tibetan nun who set herself on fire in protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet on June 11 in Tawu region of Kham, eastern Tibet has succumbed to her injuries.
Family members of the deceased’s are being kept under house arrest by local Chinese authorities, following an ongoing clampdown on all channels of communication in the region.
According to the Dharamshala based exile Tibetan administration, Wangchen Dolma passed away on June 14 in a hospital in Dartsedo where Chinese security personnel had forcibly taken her from the protest site.
Authorities further cremated Wangchen Dolma’s body without informing her family members, as has been the standard practice with other self-immolators.
“The authorities have surreptitiously cremated the body at the hospital. They have also kept the family members of the deceased under house arrest,” the Central Tibetan Administration said.
Despite the restrictions placed on the family members, it is being reported that local Tibetans have been gathering at the deceased’s home to offer their last respects and condolences.
Wangchen Dolma set herself on fire at around 5 pm (local time) on June 11 outside the Nyatso Monastery in Tawu, where thousands of monks from all over Tibet had congregated to take part in a major religious gathering.
A day before her self-immolation, on the evening of June 10, Wangchen Dolma reportedly advised students of a school in her native Tawu to diligently study Tibetan language.
Wangchen Dolma was born to Tenzin and Youdon of Gyal Bum Tsang family in Dragthok village in Minyag Drapa region of Tawu. She was enrolled at a Buddhist institute located on Barshab Dragkar, a sacred hill near her village.
Earlier reports had indicated that Chinese security personnel also severely beat and arrested an unidentified Tibetan man, who had tried to rescue Wangchen Dolma from falling into the hands of Chinese authorities. His current condition and whereabouts remain unknown.
Since 2009, as many as 119 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. 102 of the self-immolaters have passed away while the condition of more than ten remains unknown.