By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 25: According to new information, the Tibetan who self immolated in eastern Tibet’s Ngaba has been identified as Koenpe and breathed his last on the morning of December 24, according to sources in exile. The incident took place in Ngaba town in Ngaba County, Sichuan Province, on Saturday evening. Sources from Tibet revealed that the self immolator was a Tibetan youth, most likely in his late twenties.
A video circulating on social media sites showed Koenpe engulfed in flames and moving through the infamous “martyr’s lane” in the restive Ngaba town where many Tibetans have self immolated since 2009. The video was most likely taken from inside a vehicle with a mobile phone. The incident was reported to have taken place around 6:30 pm local time on Dec. 23.
Just minutes after the incident, Chinese police arrived at the scene and took away the Tibetan youth, sources said. The police drove him to Barkham county where he died around 5AM on July 24. Koenpe's family was summoned to Barkham to collect his remains. However, his father was arrested by the police who said they had to incur a few thousand Yuan for his son's treatment.
His parents, father Gyakyap and mother Thindok, along with his two brothers and three sisters, live in Cha village of Chuleb Gongma. Koenpe lived in division 2 of Meruma township as he was married to Rawangtsang family's Kalsang Lhamo of Meruma Township.
The official stand by the exile Tibetan government on the issue of self immolation has been to urge Tibetans to refrain from the act. Central Tibetan Administration run Tibet.net on Saturday quoted the President as saying “The Chinese government should address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people and review their failed policies that has engendered the grim situation and Tibetans resorting to self immolation to protest the Chinese rule in Tibet."
The exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his position on the issue as being “helpless” saying he feels that such acts are symptomatic of the desperation the Tibetan people there under China’s repressive policies, hence it would be wrong to condemn it.
In remedy, the octogenarian Tibetan leader also said that Beijing should examine the causes of the self-immolations so widespread that the number of Tibetans self immolating has, as of today, reached a staggering 151.