Video footage of twin self-immolations reaches exile
Phayul[Wednesday, May 09, 2012 17:49]
By Tendar Tsering

A screen shot of the video clip showing Choephag Kyab's body engulfed in flames on April 19, 2012 (CTA)
A screen shot of the video clip showing Choephag Kyab's body engulfed in flames on April 19, 2012 (CTA)
DHARAMSHALA, May 9: A video footage depicting the twin self-immolations of Sonam and Choephag Kyab, along with an audio recording of their last will was released by the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration earlier today.

“By risking their own lives, a group of Tibetans inside Tibet has sent the clips to us by mail,” Tenpa Dhargyal, an ex-political prisoner said releasing the audio and video footage.

The 8-minute video footage contains graphics of Sonam and Choephag Kyab burning on fire.

The two cousins, both in their early 20s, torched themselves at around 1 pm (local time) on April 19.

They carried out their fiery protest close to a local government office in Barma township near Jonang Zamthang Gonchen monastery in Zamthang (Ch: Rangtang) county, in the distraught Ngaba region, the nerve centre of the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet.

Local Tibetans gathered in large numbers at the site of the protest to protect them from being carried away by Chinese security personnel and carried the bodies to the Zamthang monastery.

Later at around mid night, following pressure from the local Chinese authorities, they were cremated near the monastery.

In their last audio message, Choephag Kyab and Sonam recount the suffering of the Tibetan people due to the lack of fundamental human rights and the forced occupation and repression of Tibet by China.

“So, for the restoration of freedom in Tibet and world peace, both of us in sound mind, are setting ourselves on fire,” Choephag Kyab and Sonam state. “The Tibetan people’s suffering due to denial of freedom is far greater that the tragedy of setting our bodies on fire.”

While consoling their parents, family members and the Tibetan people, the two urge for their last wishes to be fulfilled.

“If you feel sad for us, follow the advice of the learned Abbots and Tulkus, so that if you learn and keep alive our culture and tradition, sustain loyalty and affection for our brethren, make efforts for our culture and remain united, our wishes will be realised,” the two state in their last message.

“We deeply hope for the fulfillment of our last wishes.”


The continuing wave of self-immolations in Tibet has witnessed 35 Tibetans set their bodies on fire, since 2009, demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.

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