By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, July 14: A Tibetan student of the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi, has set himself ablaze as the Tibetan President Lobsang Sangay was delivering a speech to the students earlier today.
Tenzin Choeying, 19, from Kollegal, carried out the fiery act outside the men's hostel following a speech by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay on the campus. He was protesting China's illegal occupation of Tibet and their policies. Tenzin Choeying is a member of Tibetan Youth Congress chapter in Varanasi and was a part of the Tibetan Youth Congress' volunteer crew during the 2017 Kalachakra in Bodh Gaya.
TYC Centrex members are on the way to Varanasi to meet with him as he in in the hospital with 66% burns. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
A letter left by him for someone he called Nubz was also posted on Facebook along with his pictures from the hospital. "My body is for Tibet and Tibetan youngsters to open eyes to learn Tibetan language," he wrote
According to Chime Namgyal, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC) Varanasi, Tenzin Choeying (19) self-immolated himself today at around 9 a.m. when the President of Central Tibetan Administration (Sikyong) Dr. Lobsang Sangay was giving his talk to the student at the campus.
“He had poured two bottles of kerosene over himself. While on fire he run around 40-50 steps and was also heard shouting slogans of ‘Free Tibet’. He self-immolated against the Chinese rule in Tibet and the lack of freedom to study its own language,” said Chime Namgyal, who met Choeying at Aditya Hospital near Banaras Hindu University.
According to the doctors, he has suffered around 66 percent burn on his body, mostly around the lower region. However, he has suffered minimal burn around his head and facial area.
With the incident happening around the time of Sikyong’s visit, there have been some rumours going around that the act was against him, but Choeying cleared it was not against the Tibetan president.
Chime Namgyal told Phayul that during his meeting with Choeying, he cleared that it was not an act of protest against President Sangay.
He is also a member of Tibetan Youth Buddhist Association and Cousin brother of Tibetan activist Tenzin Tsundue.
“Since I am an activist and I am proud of seeing a young Tibetan sacrificing so much for the Tibetan cause. At the same time being a brother, I am also concerned about him and his wellbeing,” said Tenzin Tsundue.
Son of father Ngawang Khedup and mother Tashi Yangzom, Choeying is the youngest of four siblings of the family.