By Tenzin Dharpo
screen Grab of video clip, April 15, 2017
DHARAMSHALA, APR. 15: A video clip showing Chinese authorities extinguishing a flame off an unidentified Tibetan is being circulated in social media sites. The self immolation reportedly took place in a town in the Tibetan area of Kham in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province.
A Facebook post by a Tibetan netizen called Jangchup Tibet Sempa show a motionless person on fire as people spray extinguisher and Chinese security officials swarmed around him, some carrying contraptions that were earlier reported to be tactical gear distributed among security personnel in occupied Tibet to handle self immolators.
While a hoard of on-lookers have gathered around the spot, police vehicles and personnel are seen arriving and possibly taking away the victim’s body as has been a practice by the Chinese authorities in the past.
No information on the self immolator is available currently.
Almost a month ago, Pema Gyaltsen, a Tibetan farmer, self-immolated in Nyarong County in Kardze prefecture at around 4:00 p.m. (local time) on March 18 and his current condition and whereabouts are unclear. However, some unverified sources say that he is currently in a critical condition in a hospital in Kardze County. The family members have also requested the authorities to allow him to be transferred to Chengdu.
In the wake of Gyaltsen’s self immolation, authorities ramped up restrictions in the area and nearly 200 Tibetans were arrested by the Chinese police in the aftermath.
The man becomes the 148th Tibetan to self immolate since February 2009.