By Phuntsok Yangchen
Tibetan MP Lobsang Yeshi speaks at a gathering to pay respects to Kalsang Yeshi, a Tibetan monk who immolated himself on Dec. 23 in Tawu, Martyrs Pillar, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, December 25: Tibetans and supporters in Dharamshala today offered Tibetan ceremonial scarves (khatak), lit candles in solidarity with the latest Tibetan to die due to self immolation.
Around a hundred of Tibetans and supporters gathered at Martyrs Pillar at Tsuglakhang, the main temple in McLeod Ganj, to offer prayers and pay respects to Kalsang Yeshi, a 37 year old Tibetan monk of Nyitso Monastery.
Martyrs' pillar, McLeod Ganj: Dec. 25, 2014 Phayul Photo:Kunsang Gashon
“The world including Tibetan government in exile doesn’t support self-immolation protests and appealed not to resort to self-immolation protest, yet as a last resort, Tibetans have opted to set themselves on fire as a means to protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet,” said Lobsang Yeshi, a member of the Tibetan Parliament, in his address to the gathering.
“But the sad part is Chinese government has responded with more violence and repression because of which the self-immolation is continuing inside Tibet” Yeshi added.
Condemning the Chinese police opening fire on monks trying to stop the police from taking away Kalsang Yeshi’s body, he said while shooting of an innocent man elsewhere in the world raises so much hue and cry and media attention, it calls on the world to do justice for Tibetans undergoing huge repression and suffering in Tibet.
On December 23, Kalsang Yeshi, a 37-year-old Tibetan monk of Nyitso Monastery set himself ablaze in front of the police post in the premises of the monastery in Tawu. The Police forcefully cremated Kalsang Yeshi’s body in an electric crematorium and family members of the deceased were forced to throw the remains into a river at gunpoint.
Since 2009, 136 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard line policies.
The event was jointly organized by regional chapters of Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetans Women’s Association and Students for a Free Tibet, India.