DHARAMSHALA, November 26: Seven Tibetans including three monks of Jonang Akong monastery have been arrested in Pema County for their alleged links to the recent self immolation protest by a Tibetan youth named Tsering Gyal on November 11.
The seven Tibetans are currently detained in a prison in the County. Due to strict monitoring of all communication facilities, there is no further information about the seven Tibetans.
Tsering Gyal, 20, died after a self immolation protest against Chinese government in Pema County in Golog. Engulfed in flames, Gyal collapsed after walking a few meters towards the County headquarters from a giant lotus made up of concrete at the centre of the town. Chinese police on street patrol arrived at the scene and doused the fire.
Tsering was rushed to the county hospital but he succumbed to his burn injuries on the way to a bigger hospital in Xiling.
Following the self immolation protest by Gyal, a large number of armed forces have been deployed in the Akong monastery campus and nearby areas. Gyal’s home is also under constant surveillance with local Tibetans visiting his family to pay their last respects being restricted by the Chinese authorities.
The Chinese authorities have issued a notice summoning all the eye witnesses of Gyal’s self immolation protest.
Since 2009, 123 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet protesting against the China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies.
The Chinese government vows to respond to the self-immolations with even harsher policies, criminalizing the fiery protests and sentencing scores of people to heavy prison terms on charges of “intentional homicide” for their alleged roles in self-immolation protests. Chinese officials have barred Tibetans from offering prayers and showing solidarity with families of self-immolators and announced cancellation of development funds to those villages where self-immolations have taken place.