By Tenzin Monlam
A Chinese police using fire extinguisher to douse the burning body of Wangchuk Tseten, who self immolated on April 15, 2017.
DHARAMSHALA, May 9: A Tibetan monk has been arrested by the Chinese authorities under suspicion of sending information about a recent self-immolation to outside Tibet, reported Radio Free Asia
Gonpo of Oephung Monastery of Nyagrong County in Kardze prefecture was apprehended at around 5 p.m. (local time) on May 4. A source from the region told RFA, “He was taken away on suspicion of disseminating information (on local protests) to outside contacts. There has been no word about his condition or place of detention since he was taken away.”
On April 15, a man identified as Wangchuk Tsetan, 39, set himself ablaze in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.
No further information is available on the 43-year-old monk, known for his ‘patriotism’, due to the clampdown on Internet and telephonic communication in the region following the self-immolation.
Wangchuk Tsetan, a father of four, self immolated after consuming and pouring kerosene oil over his body, leaving behind his children, parents and three brothers.
Following his protest, Chinese police arrested five Tibetans for taking video of the self-immolation.
A month before Wangchuk’s self-immolation, Nyagrong witnessed another self-immolation by 24-year-old farmer Pema Gyaltsen on March 18. Over 200 Tibetans were arrested who came forward in his support and also raised cries in solidarity.
The month of March, April and May have each seen a self-immolation with latest one by a 16-year-old called Chagdor Kyab from Bora Township, in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Chagdor Kyab was 149th Tibetan to self-immolate in Tibet since 2009.