DHARAMSHALA, April 24: In reports coming just in, two young Tibetan monks of the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in Zoege, eastern Tibet set themselves on fire today protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
The exile seat of the Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala identified the two monks as Lobsang Dawa, 20 and Kunchok Woeser, 22.
“The two monks set themselves on fire at 6:40 pm (local time) near the right side of the main prayer hall of the Taktsang Lhamo Monastery protesting China’s repressive policies,” the Kirti Monastery release said. “Both of them passed away at the site of the protest.”
According to reports, the body of the two monks were later taken to their respective monastic quarters where fellow monks carried out prayers.
“Local Chinese authorities have issued orders for the cremation of the two monks by early tomorrow morning,” the release said.
Lobsang Dawa is a native of Zaru region of Zoege and the youngest of seven siblings.
Kunchok Woeser is a native of Zoege and is survived by his parents Tsering Norbu and Samdup Dolma and his two brothers.
“The two monks were enrolled at the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery at a young age and were known for their exemplary conduct and studies,” the release said.
In 2008, following a series of anti-China protests across Ngaba region, local Chinese authorities had indefinitely closed down a school run by Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery.
The primary reason for its closure was cited as participation by a number of students of Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in the March 15th protest along with other senior monks of the monastery at the Zoege county headquarters.
Since 2009, as many as 117 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.