By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibet Times Photo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 29: An elderly Tibetan monk has reportedly self immolated in Kardze County in eastern Tibet’s Kham region two days ago. According to a Tibet Times, a 63 year old Tibetan monk named Tengha has died moments after he set himself ablaze on Nov. 26.
An unnamed source in exile cited by Tibet Times said that the elderly monk burned himself while calling for “freedom in Tibet” and in an apparent protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. He also said that the police arrived at the spot of the self immolation within minutes and forcefully took away the body.
The town of Dadho in Kardze County, Sichuan Province has been placed under heavy security with sentries and patrol put on heightened alert and movements of the people there highly scrutinized.
As seen in previous incidents of self immolation cases, the family of the self immolator is put under pressure by Chinese authorities; the whereabouts of Tengha’s family there could not be ascertained according to the same source.
The senior monk is a native of the Dadho town in Kardze and had studied Buddhism from Kardze monastery for many years. As for his immediate family, both his parents had died during his childhood and have three siblings; one in United States and two in Lhasa city. It is also reported that he had attended the 2005 Kalachakra teachings that was held in Amravati in India.
NGO’s in Dharamshala including Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s’ Association and activist group Students for a Free Tibet organized a candle light vigil in McLeod Ganj in memory of the deceased Tibetan monk today.
In July, Passang Dhondup, 48, self immolated in McLeod Ganj and died. Since 2009, 150 Tibetans have self immolated in Tibet and in exile protesting against Chinese rule and its policies. The majority of the self immolators have called for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.