SELF IMMOLATIONS IN TIBET

set 13, 2012 No Commenti da

Self-Immolations in Tibet

Last Updated: August 30, 2012, 18:03 EST

Lobsang Damchoe
Lobsang Kelsang
Lungtok
Tashi
Chopa
Dolkar Tso
Lobsang Tsultrim
Losang Lozin
Tsewang Dorjee
Dickyi Choezom
Ngawang Norphel
Tenzin Khedup
Tamdin Thar
Rikyo
Dargye
Dorje Tseten
Choepak Kyap

Sonam

Chimey Palden

Tenpa Darjey
Lobsang Sherab
Sonam Dargye
Lobsang Tsultrim
Jamyang Palden
Gepey
Dorjee
Rinchen
Tsering Kyi
Nangdrol
Damchoe Sangpo
Lobsang Gyatso
Tenzin Choedron
Sonam Rabyang
Rinzin Dorje

Losang Jamyang

Sonam Wangyal
Tsultrim
Tennyi
Tenzin Phuntsog
Palden Choetso
Dawa Tsering
Tenzin Wangmo
Norbu Damdrul
Choepel
Kayang
Kelsang Wangchuk
Lobsang Kelsang
Lobsang Kunchok
Tsewang Norbu
Phuntsog
Tapey

  • 51 Tibetans have been confirmed to have self-immolated inside Tibet since February 27, 2009
  • 43 men, eight women
  • 40 of the 51 are known to have died following their protest
  • 30 of the 51 are from Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
  • 10 of the 51 were monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba
  • 10 of the 51 are former monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba (It is currently not known who of the nine chose to disrobe, or were expelled from the monastery by government authorities)
  • Two of the 51 were nuns from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery in Ngaba
  • 50 of the self-immolations have occurred since March 16, 2011
  • A map marking the locations of the self-immolations can be viewed here.

  • Five Tibetans-in-exile have self-immolated since April 1998. Three occurred in Delhi, India, one in Mumbai, India and one in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • A senior Tibetan religious figure and his niece died in a fire at their residence in a monastery in Tawu (also known as Dawu, Chinese: Daofu) county in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province on April 6, 2012. Some Tibetan sources say that they died due to self-immolation, while a monastery administrator told RFA that their deaths were due to an accidental fire as they lit butter-lamps. Until there is further clarity on their deaths, their names have not been added to this list, and more details will be reported as they become available. More information »

Lobsang Damchoe

Date: August 27, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 17

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Two teenage Tibetans, a monk and a layperson who are believed to have been cousins, set themselves on fire on August 27 in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba). The self-immolations took place near the eastern gate of Kirti monastery.

Lobsang Damchoe, 17, a former monk, was seen walking with flames shooting from his body before he collapsed to the ground, according to Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala, India. It is not known what he shouted or said as he set himself on fire.

Chinese security personnel extinguished the flames and took both men initially to the hospital in Ngaba town, but later moved them to a hospital in Barkham. According to the Kirti monks in exile, both young men died in hospital.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Kelsang

Date: August 27, 2012

Protest location: Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Two teenage Tibetans, a monk and a layperson who are believed to have been cousins, set themselves on fire on August 27 in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba). The self-immolations took place near the eastern gate of Kirti monastery.

Lobsang Kelsang, 18, was seen walking with flames shooting from his body before he collapsed to the ground, according to Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala, India. It is not known what he shouted or said as he set himself on fire.

Chinese security personnel extinguished the flames and took both men initially to the hospital in Ngaba town, but later moved them to a hospital in Barkham. According to the Kirti monks in exile, both young men died in hospital.

ICT Report:

Lungtok

Date: August 13, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: About 20

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Sources from the Kirti monastery in exile: At around 6:50pm on August 13th, a 21 year old layman named Tashi from the Soruma pastoral area in Choejema township, and the monk Lungtok, aged about 20, also from Soruma and a student in Kirti monastery’s medical college, set fire to themselves in a prayer wheel enclosure on the monastery’s perimeter, and then emerged shouting protest slogans onto the ‘Heroes’ road’ leading into town from the monastery.

As Lungtok approached the junction with the central street, a group of policemen surrounded him, put out the flames and took him away. It is unclear whether he was still alive at that time. Both were taken initially to the county hospital, and then within half an hour they were taken to the Prefecture hospital in Barkham, but according to witnesses, their burns were so severe that there is little hope of survival.

ICT Report:

Tashi

Date: August 13, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 21

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Sources from the Kirti monastery in exile: At around 6:50pm on August 13th, a 21 year old layman named Tashi from the Soruma pastoral area in Choejema township, and the monk Lungtok, aged about 20, also from Soruma and a student in Kirti monastery’s medical college, set fire to themselves in a prayer wheel enclosure on the monastery’s perimeter, and then emerged shouting protest slogans onto the ‘Heroes’ road’ leading into town from the monastery.

As Lungtok approached the junction with the central street, a group of policemen surrounded him, put out the flames and took him away. It is unclear whether he was still alive at that time. Both were taken initially to the county hospital, and then within half an hour they were taken to the Prefecture hospital in Barkham, but according to witnesses, their burns were so severe that there is little hope of survival.

It has been learned that Lungtok passed away on 13th, but as he had been taken to Barkham, it is not known whether his body would be returned to family members.

ICT Report:

Chopa

Date: August 10, 2012
Protest location: Me’uruma township, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 24

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Sources from the Kirti monastery in exile: On August 10 at about 10:15 am, 24 year old Chopa set himself on fire in Me’uruma township, Ngaba county, shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government. Within a few minutes, local security forces arrived at the scene, doused the still fierce flames, and took him away. According to witnesses, it was not clear at that point whether he was still alive. It has since been confirmed that Chopa passed away just after 3pm on August 10, shortly before reaching Barkham prefecture hospital. The authorities cremated his body there, and returned just a part of the ashes to his family members.

ICT Report:

Dolkar Tso

Dolkar Tso

Date: August 7, 2012
Protest location: Near Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province (the Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: Twenties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Dolkar Tso, who is in her mid-twenties and from a farming family, set fire to herself early this afternoon near a white stupa (reliquary building) at Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery in Tsoe City (Chinese: Hezuo). According to Tibetan sources in exile from her home area, she called out for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and shouted that there was no freedom in Tibet.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Tsultrim

Lobsang Tsultrim

Date: August 6, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: 21

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

According to the exile Kirti monks, Lobsang Tsultrim attempted to walk along the main street towards the office building of the Forestry Department before he fell to the ground, and armed police emerged and extinguished the flames. A local Tibetan told the Kirti monks in Dharamsala that Lobsang Tsultrim was still alive when police took him away. He is believed to have been taken to the local government hospital, and then removed elsewhere. His current whereabouts and welfare is not known.

Lobsang Tsultrim was born in Ryiwa village, Cha Township in Ngaba, and he joined Kirti monastery when he was very young. He was a classmate of Phuntsog, who self-immolated on March 16, 2011, and is said to have loved playing basketball. Lobsang Tsultrim is said to have suffered a great deal and may have been detained following the crackdown in Ngaba from March 16, 2008, when at least ten Tibetans were killed by Chinese troops after peaceful protest. He is the 27th Tibetan from Ngaba to self-immolate since February, 2009, and the eighth Kirti monk to do so.

ICT Report:

Losang Lozin

Losang Lozin

Date: July 17, 2012
Protest location: North of Barkham county, Sichuan province
Age: 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

The self-immolation and death today of an 18-year old Tibetan monk from Ngaba is being marked by Tibetans at his monastery, Gedhen Tashi Choeling, an affiliate of Kirti monastery.

Losang Lozin set fire to himself in front of the monastery’s main assembly hall today and then attempted to start walking towards the township government office, according to monks from Kirti monastery in Dharamsala, India.

ICT Report:

Tsewang Dorjee

Date: July 7, 2012
Protest location: Damshung, Tibet Autonomous Region
Age: 22

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Phayul: The Tibetan man who set himself on fire on July 7 has now been identified as Tsewang Dorjee, a 22-year-old nomad from Damshung, central Tibet.

Tsewang Dorjee raised slogans and called for the long life of His Holiness, but barely three minutes into his protest, Chinese security forces arrived at the scene, doused the flames and took him to a hospital. In a press release, the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile noted that the entire Damshung region is currently under lockdown and people who witnessed the self-immolation have since been arrested.

Phayul:

Dickyi Choezom

Date: June 27, 2012
Protest location: Kyegudo
Age: Forties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Unknown

Phayul: A Tibetan woman in her 40s, identified as Dickyi Choezom, a mother of two, set herself on fire on June 27, at around 2pm (local time) in Keygu town near the Dhondupling Monastery. Chinese security personnel at the scene of the protest doused the flames and took her away, reportedly to a hospital in Siling, but no further information is available.

An exile monk with contacts in the region told Tibetan media that police arrested two of her relatives but many Tibetans gathered and started demanding their release and threatening to set themselves on fire if the two were not released, and they were reportedly released later in the day but carried injuries from severe beatings. Tibetans from Kyegudo have been protesting China’s redevelopment plans in the region following the devastating earthquake in April 2010. (ICT Report – April 9, 2011)

Phayul:

Ngawang Norphel

Ngawang Norphel

Date: June 20, 2012
Protest location: Trindu, Qinghai province
Age: 22

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Believed to have died on July 30

Radio Free Asia: Carrying Tibetan flags and shouting pro-independence slogans, former monk Tenzin Khedup, 24, and Ngawang Norphel, 22, torched themselves in Dzatoe (in Chinese, Zaduo) township, Tridu (Chenduo) county, in the Yulshul (Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the exile sources said.

Tenzin Khedup died on the spot while his colleague, Ngawang Norphel was badly burned and is in serious condition at a hospital, according to Lobsang Sangay, a monk in India who is from the Zekar monastery in Yushul, quoting eyewitnesses.

Tenzin Khedup

Tenzin Khedup

Date: June 20, 2012
Protest location: Trindu, Qinghai province
Age: 24

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Radio Free Asia: Carrying Tibetan flags and shouting pro-independence slogans, former monk Tenzin Khedup, 24, and Ngawang Norphel, 22, torched themselves in Dzatoe (in Chinese, Zaduo) township, Tridu (Chenduo) county, in the Yulshul (Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the exile sources said.

Tenzin Khedup died on the spot while his colleague, Ngawang Norphel was badly burned and is in serious condition at a hospital, according to Lobsang Sangay, a monk in India who is from the Zekar monastery in Yushul, quoting eyewitnesses.

Tamdin Thar

Date: June 15, 2012
Protest location: Chentsa (Chinese: Jianza) county town in Qinghai (the eastern Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: Fifties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Tibetans in eastern Tibet gathered today to mark the self-immolation of a Tibetan from a nomadic family who set fire to himself and died in Chentsa (Chinese: Jianza) county town in Qinghai (the eastern Tibetan area of Amdo). Images posted online by Tibetans in exile showed crowds gathering to pile khatags (Tibetan blessing scarves) on the body of Tamdin Thar, who was in his forties or fifties, while massed ranks of armed police gather at the roadside nearby.

Tamdin Thar set himself on fire early this morning in front of the People’s Armed Police base in Chentsa, Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, according to Tibetan sources in exile.

Armed police were seen extinguishing the flames as Tamdin Thar lay on the ground, still moving slightly, and he was then taken away in a vehicle by security forces. According to Tibetan sources in exile in touch with Tibetans in the area, he died within hours, and local people gathered in the town calling for the return of his body, despite an increasing number of armed police being deployed.

The body was returned to local people at around mid-day today, according to various sources. The Chinese state media confirmed the self-immolation and death but did not name Tamdin Thar.

ICT Report:

Rikyo

Date: May 30, 2012
Protest location: Tibetan area of Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 33

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Rikyo was in her mid-thirties and from a nomadic family. She set herself on fire near to Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen Monastery. The flames around her body were so intense that police on the scene were beaten back by the fire and attempts to extinguish it failed.

Following her self-immolation, her body was taken to the Jonang Dzamthang Monastery and kept there, according to Tibetans in exile who are from the area. Chinese government officials came to the monastery and sought to impose an immediate cremation. Rikyo was cremated the same day, and a large number of Tibetans converged at a special cremation prayer service near the monastery. According to a Tibetan in exile in contact with Tibetans from Dzamthang, “Although it was raining and a heavy storm, people did not move from the cremation area near the monastery until around 3 a.m.”

ICT Report:

Dargye

Dargye

Date: May 27, 2012
Protest location: Outside of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region
Age: Believed to be 25

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Two young Tibetan men set fire to themselves on May 27 outside one of Tibet’s holiest shrines, the Jokhang Temple, in the first self-immolation in Lhasa, Tibet’s historic capital. According to monks from Kirti Monastery in exile, 25-year old Dargye had entered Kirti monastery as a boy and disrobed a few years ago. Voice of America Tibetan language service has reported that the two Tibetans, who self-immolated together, worked in a restaurant in Lhasa. Dargye was reportedly from Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) in Sichuan (where most of the self-immolations have taken place).

The self-immolations took place during Saga Dawa, an important religious period for Tibetan Buddhists that commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. The self-immolations are the first in Lhasa where Chinese security has been tight since March 2008 when protests occurred across Tibet and rocked the capital city. The official media reported today that Lhasa’s Public Security Bureau has set up a special task force to investigate the case.

ICT Report:

Dorje Tseten

Dorje Tseten

Date: May 27, 2012
Protest location: Outside of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region
Age: 19

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Two young Tibetan men set fire to themselves on May 27 outside one of Tibet’s holiest shrines, the Jokhang Temple, in the first self-immolation in Lhasa, Tibet’s historic capital. Nineteen-year old Dorje Tseten had left home after high school and had been renting a room in a house in Lhasa. The entire household was detained soon after his self-immolation. Voice of America Tibetan language service has reported that the two Tibetans, who self-immolated together, worked in a restaurant in Lhasa. Dorje Tseten was reportedly from Labrang (Chinese: Xiahe) in Gansu, the Tibetan area of Amdo.

The self-immolations took place during Saga Dawa, an important religious period for Tibetan Buddhists that commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. The self-immolations are the first in Lhasa where Chinese security has been tight since March 2008 when protests occurred across Tibet and rocked the capital city. The official media reported today that Lhasa’s Public Security Bureau has set up a special task force to investigate the case.

Dorje Tseten is referred to in Xinhua sources as Tobgye Tseten.

ICT Report:

Choepak Kyap

Date: April 19, 2012
Protest location: Close to a local government office in Barma township near Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen monastery in the Tibetan area of Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: Twenties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Two Tibetan men in their twenties set fire to themselves today close to a local government office in Barma township near Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen monastery in the Tibetan area of Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan.

The two Tibetans who self-immolated today were named by two exile Tibetan sources as Choepak Kyap and Sonam. Although paramilitary troops were deployed immediately, local people managed to prevent them from taking away the bodies of the two Tibetans, who had died following the self-immolation, according to the same two sources. According to the exile Tibetans, who are in contact with Tibetans in the area, the bodies were taken to the monastery in order to carry out prayers, and many other Tibetans are gathering there. It is expected that a cremation and funeral services will be held soon.

ICT Report:

Sonam

Date: April 19, 2012
Protest location: Close to a local government office in Barma township near Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen monastery in the Tibetan area of Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: Twenties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Two Tibetan men in their twenties set fire to themselves today close to a local government office in Barma township near Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen monastery in the Tibetan area of Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan.

The two Tibetans who self-immolated today were named by two exile Tibetan sources as Choepak Kyap and Sonam. Although paramilitary troops were deployed immediately, local people managed to prevent them from taking away the bodies of the two Tibetans, who had died following the self-immolation, according to the same two sources. According to the exile Tibetans, who are in contact with Tibetans in the area, the bodies were taken to the monastery in order to carry out prayers, and many other Tibetans are gathering there. It is expected that a cremation and funeral services will be held soon.

ICT Report:

Chimey Palden

Chimey Palden

Date: March 30, 2012
Protest location: Barkham (Chinese: Ma’erkang), Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: 21
Monastery: Tsodun monastery

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Chimey Palden, a 21-year old monk from Tsodun monastery in Ngaba, set fire to himself, along with fellow monk Tenpa Darjey, aged 22, on March 30, 2012 outside the prefectureal government offices in Barkham, Ngaba.

The area is now under lockdown by armed troops and no further information is known about the two monks’ survival or current whereabouts, according to the Kirti monks in exile.

Chimey Palden went to Kirti monastery in Ngaba as a philosophy student in 2009, but stayed only a few months. In 2010, on a visit to Lhasa, he was searched by Public Security personnel, who found a photo of the Dalai Lama, a picture of the Tibetan national flag and a Tibetan song on his mobile phone. He was detained for more than a month.

ICT Report:

Tenpa Darjey

Tenpa Darjey

Date: March 30, 2012
Protest location: Barkham (Chinese: Ma’erkang), Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: 22
Monastery: Tsodun monastery

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Tenpa Darjey, a 22-year old monk from Tsodun monastery in Ngaba, set fire to himself, along with fellow monk Chimey Palden, aged 21, on March 30, 2012 outside the prefectureal government offices in Barkham, Ngaba.

The area is now under lockdown by armed troops and no further information is known about the two monks’ survival or current whereabouts, according to the Kirti monks in exile.

Tenpa Darjey studied philosophy at Kirti monastery in Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, from 2003-2009. He then returned to Tsodun where he was regarded as one of the best students in the logic and debating class. He was the youngest of four brothers and sisters.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Sherab

Date: March 28, 2012
Protest location: Cha township, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 20
Monastery: Ganden Tenpeling monastery

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Lobsang Sherab was a 20-year old monk at Ganden Tenpeling monastery in Rasuwa, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (Tibetan area of Amdo). According to monks from Kirti monastery now living in exile in Dharamsala, India, paramilitary police in Ngaba removed Sherab’s body immediately following his self-immolation, ignoring pleas for his body to be handed over to his family. Sherab had been a monk at the small Ganden Tenpeling monastery in Raruwa since the age of nine. Last October he went to study at Kirti monastery in Ngaba, but had returned home on March 26, 2012. According to a Kirti monk in exile, “These days some 300 Chinese government officials of various positions and rank are stationed at Kirti monastery, and throughout Ngaba armed police and special police forces maintain a security clampdown.”

ICT Report:

Sonam Dargye

Sonam Dargye

Date: March 17, 2012
Protest location:
Northeastern Qinghai province
Age: 44
Occupation:
Farmer

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Deceased

Info:
Sonam Dargye, a 44-year old father of three from the town of Rongpo, is the second Tibetan in the Rebkong area to set fire to himself.

Images and footage that emerged almost immediately from Tibet shows thousands of Tibetans in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren), Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Tibetan Auonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (Tibetan area of Amdo) gathering to mark the passing of Sonam Dargye, a Tibetan farmer who died after self-immolating near the center of Rongpo town on Saturday (March 17) (VOA, 19 March 2012). A video released by VOA and shared by Tibetans on Facebook shows the body of Sonam Dargye still aflame in the middle of the street in Rongpo town, as hundreds of Tibetans gather around. Footage can be viewed at Voice of America’s Tibetan service here.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Tsultrim

Losang Tsultrim

Date: March 16, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba county town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: 20
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Lobsang Tsultrim set himself on fire and proceeded to march along the main road in the upper part of Ngaba county town, shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government. As he walked on from the site of his self-immolation, armed police personnel came running to intercept him, at which he turned and ran back in the other direction, continuing to shout. He was then knocked to the ground by a police officer, and the police extinguished the flames, and threw him into the back of a pickup vehicle. He was held down by police officers, but was seen to raise his arms while continuing to shout, showing that he was still alive.

Lobsang Tsultrim was from the Yeshe Tsang household in Soruma village, Choejema township, Ngaba county. His father’s name is Yeshe and his mother is Tsedron. He was the eldest of four brothers and sisters. He joined Kirti monastery at the age of eight, and studied at the ‘Buddhist youth academy’ or monastery school. Once that institution was closed down in 2003, he entered the monastery’s Tantric college.

ICT Report:

Jamyang Palden

Jamyang Palden

Date: March 14, 2012
Protest location: Rebkong, Qinghai
Age: Thirties
Monastery: Rongpo (Rongwo)

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: Jamyang Palden, a monk in his thirties from Rongpo monastery in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren), Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo), set fire to himself this morning. It is the first self-immolation in Rebkong, and the 28th in Tibet since February, 2009. Jamyang Palden survived the self-immolation, but his condition is serious, according to Tibetans in exile in contact with those in the area.

Jamyang Palden set fire to himself in Dolma square, near Rongpo monastery, which is the main monastery in Rebkong. Monks and local people took him to hospital, but it seems that he has since been moved back to the monastery. Despite the buildup of troops, images from Rebkong today show local people gathered at the scene of his self-immolation, quietly praying for him. The gathering led to a peaceful protest, with Tibetans calling for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. There are fears for the safety of Tibetans in Rebkong due to the military buildup following the self-immolation.

ICT Report:

Gepey

Date: March 10, 2012
Protest location: Near a Chinese military camp location 1.5 kilometers from Kirti monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 18
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: VOA: “Chinese authorities took Gepey’s body and forced cremation of his body the same night, according to UK-based advocacy group Free Tibet.

Lobsang Yeshi, spokesperson of Kirti monastery in India told VOA Tibetan that Gepey is survived by his mother and two brothers, who are also monks at the Kirti monastery in Ngaba.”

ICT Report:

Dorjee

Date: March 5, 2012
Protest location: Cha (Chinese: Jia) township, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province
Age: 18
Occupation: Unknown

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: An 18-year old male named Dorjee set fire to himself today at around 6:30 p.m. local time and walked towards the local government office in Cha (Chinese: Jia) township, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province. According to the same sources, Kirti monks in contact with Tibetans in the region, Dorjee shouted slogans against the Chinese government’s policies on Tibet. It is believed that he died at the scene, and that authorities took away his body.

ICT Report:

Date: March 4, 2012
Protest location: Near a military camp in the vicinity of Kirti monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: Early thirties
Occupation: Unknown

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: A Tibetan mother named Rinchen self-immolated near a military camp in the vicinity of Kirti monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo). Rinchen was in her early thirties, and was married to a Tibetan man who had died (details of when he died and the circumstances are not clear). It could not be immediately confirmed whether she had three or four children; the youngest was several months old, and the oldest in their early teens.

According to Tibetan monks from Kirti who are now in exile, as she set herself ablaze, Rinchen shouted “Return His Holiness to Tibet” and “We need freedom”. She died soon afterwards, according to the same sources. Rinchen was the eldest of eight siblings in her family, from Jiashang township in Ngaba.

ICT Report:

Tsering Kyi

Tsering Kyi

Date: March 3, 2012
Protest location: Machu town (Chinese: Maqu) in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), Gansu
Age: 19
Occupation: Student

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Teenager Tsering Kyi, a pupil at the Tibetan Middle School in Machu who was aged 19, set fire to herself on Saturday afternoon (March 3) in the vegetable market of Machu town (Chinese: Maqu) in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), Gansu.

Authorities have blockaded the school Tsering Kyi attended in Machu (Chinese: Maqu) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu province (Tibetan area of Amdo), and have imposed a tight military lockdown in the area following the incident, with people’s cellphones being investigated in an attempt to prevent dissemination of any images or footage that may have been taken of the self-immolation.

ICT Report:

Nangdrol

Date: February 19, 2012
Protest location: Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 18
Occupation: unknown

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Nangdrol was the fourth of eight children, and is from Choeje village, Barma township, Dzamthang, the Tibetan area of Amdo. The same sources reported that he died, and his body was taken back to the monastery where traditional Buddhist rituals were carried out for him. According to the same sources, monks did not comply with police orders to hand over the body, and this evening (February 19), more than 1000 people had gathered to hold vigil.

It has been confirmed that 18-year old Nangdrol, who set himself on fire on February 19 in Dzamthang, Sichuan, was a layperson and not a monk as previously reported, according to Tibetan sources. According to Tibetans in the area who are in contact with Tibetans in exile, Nangdrol cared passionately about Tibetan culture and language and had urged fellow Tibetans to be united, and to preserve their cultural and religious identity.

ICT Report:

Damchoe Sangpo

Damchoe

Date: February 17, 2012
Protest location: Themchen county town, Themchen county, Tsonub Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province
Age: 40
Monastery: Bongthak

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: For the first time, a monastic official self-immolated on Friday (February 17) in Themchen (Chinese: Tianjun) county in Tsonub (Chinese: Haixi ) Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province. Thirty-eight year old Tibetan monk Damchoe Sangpo was a member of Bongthak monastery’s Democratic Management Committee, the government-established body that runs the monastery, according to Tibetan exile sources. Voice of America Tibetan Service, which published a picture of Damchoe Sangpo here, reported that he died after setting himself ablaze after monks were banned from marking a religious ceremony, while other sources reported that he had objected to a rigorous “patriotic education” campaign at his monastery.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Gyatso

Lobsang Gyatso

Date: February 13, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba
Age: 19
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: At about 2:30pm on February 13th, Kirti monk Lobsang Gyatso, age 19, of the Badzritsang house in Naktsangma of Cha township, set himself on fire at the top of the main street of Ngaba town shouting slogans ofprotest against the Chinese government.

In the same moment, armed police and special police officers came and extinguished the fire and took him away while beating him. His present condition and whereabouts are not known.

ICT Report:

Tenzin Choedron

Tenzin Choedron

Date: February 11, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba
Age: 18
Nunnery: Mame Dechen Chokorling (also known as Mame nunnery)

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Tenzin Choedron set herself on fire early in the evening on February 11, shouting slogans against the Chinese government, according to monks from Kirti monastery in exile (sister monastery to Kirti in Ngaba). She chose the same place as nun Tenzin Wangmo, the Sumdo bridge area below the nunnery, which is around three kilometers from Ngaba county town (Tibetan nun dies following self-immolation protest). Tenzin Choedron did not die immediately, but was taken away by soldiers and police. According to new information today, she died soon afterwards and her funeral ceremony is being arranged.

ICT Report:

Sonam Rabyang

Date: February 9, 2012
Protest location: Triwang (Chinese: Chen wen) Town, the Capital of Tridu County
Age: Mid thirties
Monastery: Lab monastery

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Taken to a hospital; condition is unclear

Info: Sonam Rabyang was a monk from Yuthung village, Lab township, Tridu (Chi: Chenduo) County, Yulshul (Chi: Yu shu) in Yulshul Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province (the Tibetan area of Kham). He was at Lab monastery, and set fire to himsef in Tridu town. It is thought that he survived, but it is not clear.

Rinzin Dorje

Date: February 8, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba county town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: 19
Monastery: Former monk at Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: According to two Tibetan monks from Kirti monastery in Dharamsala, India (associated with Kirti monastery in Ngaba), the Tibetan set himself on fire at a primary school early in the evening in Ngaba county town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Amdo). Sources said that the Tibetan seemed to be a monk, but his name and place of origin are not known. He was taken away by police, and it is not known whether he is still alive. Two monks were also detained from the vicinity.

Radio Free Asia has since reported that Rinzin Dorje was formerly a monk at Kirti monastery (RFA, 9 February 2012).

ICT Reports:

Losang Jamyang

Losang Jamyang

Date: January 14, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Twenties
Monastery: Formerly of Andu monastery

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: *On April 17, ICT released a 45-second film clip that was shot and sent into exile at great risk to those involved. The clip can be viewed here. According to exiled Tibetan sources, at around 1:30 pm he doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire. He walked into the street calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet, according to the same sources.

Police began to kick and beat him with clubs spiked with nails rather than immediately focusing on putting out the flames. According to two Kirti monks in Dharamsala, India, who have spoken to several individuals in the area: “Unable to bear this sight, local Tibetans on the scene stood up to the armed security personnel without regard for their own lives, and shouting that the body should be handed over to them, tried their best to block their path as they tried to take him away.”

Losang Jamyang died after his self-immolation but reports about the time of his death differ. He was taken away by police, and one of the most reliable reports suggest that he may have survived until Monday (January 16) when he died.

Losang Jamyang became a monk at the local Andu monastery (of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism) as a child, but later joined a primary school (Bontse school) in Ngaba county and completed his education there. In 2011 he was a leading member of a popular association for the promotion of Tibetan language in his village, and as a result had faced pressure from the local authorities.

ICT Report:

Sonam Wangyal

Sonam Wangyal

Date: January 8, 2012
Protest location: Darlag county, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province
Age: Forties
Monastery: Dungkyob monastery

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Sonam Wangyal (also referred to as Lama Sobha), a respected religious figure in his local area, drank kerosene and set himself on fire on January 8 early in the morning in Darlag county, Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo), according to the Tibetan government in exile. His self-immolation was said to be linked to lack of religious freedoms in the area. Radio Free Asia reported that before he set himself ablaze, he climbed a local hill to burn incense and pray before distributing leaflets saying he would act “not for his personal glory but for Tibet and the happiness of Tibetans.”

ICT Reports:

Tsultrim

Date: January 6, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Around twenty
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: According to information from exiled Tibetan sources, two Tibetans, both aged around 20, called Tsultrim and Tennyi, set themselves on fire in the courtyard of a hotel in the center of Ngaba town, and ran into the street shouting “His Holiness the Dalai Lama must return to Tibet” and “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!” Tennyi died on the same day, and Tsultrim died on January 7, according to the same sources.

ICT Report:

Tennyi

Date: January 6, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Around twenty
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: According to information from exiled Tibetan sources, two Tibetans, both aged around 20, called Tsultrim and Tennyi, set themselves on fire in the courtyard of a hotel in the center of Ngaba town, and ran into the street shouting “His Holiness the Dalai Lama must return to Tibet” and “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!” Tennyi died on the same day, and Tsultrim died on January 7, according to the same sources.

ICT Report:

Tenzin Phuntsog

Tenzin Phuntsog

Date: December 1, 2011
Protest location: Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu or Qamdo) prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region
Age: Forties
Monastery: former monk at Karma monastery in Chamdo township

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased.

Info: This the first self-immolation to occur in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the 13th since Kirti monk Tapey set himself on fire on February 27, 2009. The self-immolations have mainly occurred in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo), with three in neighbouring Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (the Tibetan area of Kham).

Radio Free Asia reported that the former monk set himself ablaze in Khamar township in Chamdo, that his wife’s name is Dolma, and that he has two sons and a daughter. (Radio Free Asia Tibetan service in English, December 1). According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Tenzin Phuntsog died at Chamdo Hospital on December 6, 2011 (TCHRD, 9 December 2011).

ICT Report:

Palden Choetso

Dawa Tsering

Date: November 3, 2011
Protest location: Tawu (also known as Dawu) county in Kardze, TAP, Sichuan
Age: 35
Nunnery: Ganden Jangchup Choeling

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: A Tibetan, Palden Choetso set fire to herself November 3, 2011 and is believed to have died in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Kham. The state news agency Xinhua confirmed the self-immolation and reported that the nun died after setting herself on fire near her nunnery in Tawu (also known as Dawu, Chinese: Daofu) county in Kardze.

According to one source in exile, “After Palden Choetso’s self-immolation the nuns took her to the nunnery, and she died soon afterwards. Nuns began to pray for her. The local authorities have locked down the area, closing a major road in Tawu, and deploying troops to the nunnery.”

ICT Report:

Dawa Tsering

Dawa Tsering

Date: October 25, 2011
Protest location: Kardze county, Kardze TAP, Sichuan
Age: 38
Monastery: Kardze

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: Dawa Tsering, 38, became the 11th Tibetan to self-immolate as a form of political protest against Chinese rule when he set fire to himself on the morning of October 25 in Kardze Monastery in eastern Tibet. Dawa Tsering was reportedly participating in a religious ritual inside the monastery attended by hundreds of local people when he set himself on fire. His current condition and whereabouts are not known, and Chinese police have reportedly surrounded the monastery.

ICT Report:

Tenzin Wangmo

Tenzin Wangmo

Date: October 17, 2011
Protest location: Sumdo bridge, located below Mame nunnery, approximately three kilometers outside of Ngaba county town, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 20
Nunnery: Mame Dechen Chokorling (also known as Mame nunnery)

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Tenzin Wangmo, a 20 year-old Tibetan nun from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery (also known as Mame nunnery) in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (Tibetan region of Amdo), died after self-immolating at the Sumdo bridge, located below Mame nunnery, approximately three kilometers outside of Ngaba county town. According to the same sources, Tenzin Wangmo called for the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet and for religious freedom, during a protest that lasted approximately 10 minutes. Tenzin Wangmo’s body was taken back to the nunnery before police arrived, whereupon the authorities demanded that her body be turned over or buried the same day, according to the same exile sources. The nuns of Mame nunnery refused, after which soldiers and police cordoned off the nunnery and surrounding villages. Details are still emerging, however, according to the same exile sources, Tenzin Wangmo’s body was cremated on the evening of October 17, by order of the authorities.

ICT Report:

Norbu Damdrul

Date: October 15, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 19
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti (It is not known whether Norbu Damdrul chose to disrobe, or was expelled from the monastery by government authorities.)

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased.

Info: Norbu Damdrul, 19, a former Kirti monk, set fire to himself in a protest on the main street in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county town just before noon on October 15. According to exiled Tibetan sources he shouted “We need freedom and independence for Tibet,” and called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet as his body was burning, according to the same sources.

Norbu’s body was badly burned, but according to the same sources he was still alive when police stationed on the street extinguished the flames and kicked Norbu before taking him away. A large crowd of Tibetans who had gathered at the scene was dispersed at gunpoint by security personnel, according to the same sources.

ICT Report:

Choepel

Choepel

Date: October 7, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 19
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti (It is not known whether Choepel chose to disrobe, or was expelled from the monastery by government authorities.)

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Choepel and Kayang, both former monks at Kirti monastery who may have been expelled, set fire to themselves along the main road of Ngaba county town. The two young men clasped their hands together and set fire to themselves before security personnel extinguished the flames and took the two to the county’s government-run hospital. Both young men died following the protest.

The Chinese state media reported the self-immolation in a Xinhua report on October 8, saying that two Tibetans were “slightly injured” after a “self-immolation attempt.”

ICT Reports:

Kayang

Kayang

Date: October 7, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 18
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti (It is not known whether Kayang chose to disrobe, or was expelled from the monastery by government authorities.)

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Choepel and Kayang, both former monks at Kirti monastery who may have been expelled, set fire to themselves along the main road of Ngaba county town. The two young men clasped their hands together and set fire to themselves before security personnel extinguished the flames and took the two to the county’s government-run hospital. Both young men died following the protest. Kayang’s cousin, a Tibetan named Tashi, was one of the Tibetans killed in the Chinese government crackdown in Ngaba in 2008.

The Chinese state media reported the self-immolation in a Xinhua report on October 8, saying that two Tibetans were “slightly injured” after a “self-immolation attempt.”

ICT Reports:

Kelsang Wangchuk

Kelsang Wangchuk

Date: October 3, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 17
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Tibetan exile sources indicate that he is in a ward of the county hospital under strict surveillance. The same sources said that he had sustained a head injury as a result of the beatings from police at the time of his detention.

Info: A 17-year old monk from Kirti monastery immolated himself in Ngaba county town at approximately 2:00 pm local time on October 3, according to Tibetans in exile in contact with Tibetans in the area. The monk, Kelsang Wangchuk, carried a photo of the Dalai Lama and was shouting slogans against the Chinese government when he set fire to himself along the main street in Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. Full details of the incident have yet to emerge, but some exiled sources say that he was immediately surrounded by security personnel, who extinguished the fire and beat Kelsang Wangchuk before taking him away. Kelsang’s current wellbeing and whereabouts are unknown.

Shortly after the immolation, additional security forces were deployed in Ngaba county town and at Kirti monastery.

According to monks from the re-established Kirti monastery in exile in Dharamsala, India, pamphlets were distributed and posted around Kirti monastery and the market place in Ngaba county town a few days ago, stating that if the current security crackdown in the area were to continue, “many more people were prepared to give up their lives” in protest.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Kelsang

Lobsang Kelsang

Date: September 26, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Believed to be 18
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: In a hospital, according to exile Tibetan sources. Lobsang Kelsang was featured on Chinese state television from hospital.

Info: On September 26 Lobsang Kelsang and Lobsang Kunchok, both believed to be approximately 18-years old, set fire to themselves while shouting “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” in a protest also held in Ngaba county town. After extinguishing the flames, police took the two young monks into custody.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Kunchok

Lobsang Kunchok

Date: September 26, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Believed to be 18
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: In a hospital, according to exile Tibetan sources.

Info: On September 26 Lobsang Kelsang and Lobsang Kunchok, both believed to be approximately 18-years old, set fire to themselves while shouting “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” in a protest also held in Ngaba county town. After extinguishing the flames, police took the two young monks into custody.

video was posted on YouTube showing Lobsang Kunchok in the street after he self-immolated.
(Warning: graphic content)

ICT Report:

Tsewang Norbu

Tsewang Norbu

Date: August 15, 2011
Protest location: Tawu county, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 29
Monastery: Nyitso

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Tsewang Norbu died after setting fire to himself and calling for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Tsewang Norbu drank petrol before immolating himself and died soon afterwards, according to Tibetan exiles in contact with the area.

In a rare instance of prompt reporting on such an incident, the Chinese state media confirmed the death of a Buddhist monk shortly afterwards, with Xinhua stating: “it was unclear why he had burnt himself”, and that the local government had launched an investigation. (Xinhua, August 15).

A hotel receptionist near the scene of Tsewang Norbu’s death told AFP that the monk had been distributing leaflets, saying: “I saw a monk lying on the ground and burning, he died right in front of the county government building.” (AFP, August 15).

The state media confirmed that Tsewang Norbu had been swiftly cremated on Wednesday, August 17, evidence that the Kardze Party Secretary’s instructions for a prompt cremation were followed. Xinhua reported that Nyitso monk Tsewang Norbu (Chinese transliteration: Tsongwon Norbu) had been “cremated Wednesday in accordance with Tibetan rituals”, according to the local government. (Xinhua in English, August 17).

ICT Report:

Phuntsog

Phuntsog

Date: March 16, 2011

Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 20
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Phuntsog, a 20-year old monk, immolated himself on March 16, the 3rd anniversary of a protest at Kirti in 2008 during which at least 10 Tibetans were shot dead. Police extinguished the flames and were seen beating Phuntsog before he died, according to Tibetan exiles in contact with Tibetans in the area. According to Tibetan exiles who spoke to a witness of the protest, before he was stopped by police Phuntsog shouted slogans including “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!”

According to the same sources, protests then broke out against the Chinese authorities involving hundreds of monks and laypeople. After an attempted peaceful march from the monastery, police broke up the protests, detaining an unknown number of monks and beating Tibetans involved.

An account of the aftermath of the self-immolation: Kirti monks intervened when police were beating Phuntsog and took him back to the monastery before ensuring he received medical treatment. The Chinese authorities’ official statement included the false claim that the monks “forcibly took [Phuntsog] out of the hospital.”

Two sources from Kirti monastery in exile told ICT: “When Phuntsog was taken back to the monastery, there was little hope of his surviving, but as he was not yet dead, there was still a chance. Without government permission, they knew the hospital would not take him. So the monks decided to give into the government so that he could be admitted to hospital. He passed away there at around 3 am local time today (March 17).”

The official state media account not only gave misleading information about Phuntsog’s identify, but also claims: “Shortly after he set himself on fire, a policeman on patrol found him, put out the flames and rushed him to a nearby hospital…But a group of monks from the Kirti Monastery forcibly took him out of the hospital later in the afternoon and hid him inside the monastery, regardless of his injuries.”

Kirti was soon placed under lockdown and monks subjected to a stringent patriotic education campaign as part of a wide-spread crackdown in Ngaba that included several hundred security personnel posted to Kirti monastery. Around 300 monks were taken away from the monastery in large trucks to unknown locations for the purpose of “legal education,” and two elderly Tibetans were beaten to death by police while they were participating in a vigil at the gates of the monastery in an attempt to protect the monks during a security raid on the monastery.

In an official statement released on April 29 in English, the Chinese state media claimed that the reports by the international media citing ICT on the deaths of the two Tibetans were “fictitious” and that an “86-year-old female herder died of lung disease at her home in Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.”

Exiled sources from the area reported that contrary to the official report, the two people who died in their attempt to prevent monks from being moved from the monastery by armed police on April 21 were Dongko (male), aged 60, and 65-year old Sherkyi (female). The two Tibetans died after severe beatings.

Dramatic footage from Ngaba was released on April 19, a month after it was taken, which refutes the Chinese government’s assertions on April 19 that the situation is “normal” and “harmonious.”

Kirti monk Losang Tenzin, age 22, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment, and a Kirti monk also called Losang Tenzin (known too as Nak Ten) was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Barkham (Chinese: Ma’erkang) County People’s Court, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province on August 30. On Monday, August 29, 46-year old Kirti monk Losang Tsondru (named in the state media as Drongdru), who was detained on April 12, was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment by the same court. All three sentences were reported in the Chinese state media, with Xinhua reporting on August 31 that the two monks sentenced on August 30 “plotted, instigated and assisted in the self-immolation of fellow monk Rigzin Phuntsog, causing his death” (Xinhua, August 31, 2011). The same article stated: “Drongdru was given the sentence because he hid the injured monk and prevented emergency treatment, causing delayed treatment and the subsequent death for his disciple and nephew, according to the verdict.”

On around May 2, 31-year old Kirti monk Losang Dargye of Me’uruma township was sentenced to three years in prison by the Ngaba county People’s Court. Losang Dargye became a monk at a young age, and in 2003 he travelled to Lhasa to begin higher Buddhist studies at Drepung monastery, which he completed with distinction. He is believed to have been among a group of Drepung monks who peacefully protested on March 10, 2008, and was detained for some months before being allowed to return to Ngaba. He was detained on April 11 this year in a raid by police and soldiers on his quarters in the monastery.

Kirti monk Konchok Tsultrim, age 33, from the rural area of Tawa Gongma was arrested after March 16. He was sentenced around the beginning of May to three years in prison by the Ngaba county People’s Court, and is now likely to serve his sentence outside Ngaba county. Konchok Tsultrim was serving as the monastery storekeeper. Details of the exact charges against him are not known.

State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner, in response to a question at a daily press briefing on April 14, said: “We have seen that Chinese security forces have cordoned off the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province. They’ve also imposed onerous restrictions on the monks and the general public. And we believe these are inconsistent with internationally-recognized principles of religious freedom and human right. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and are obviously concerned by it.”

Asked if the US has raised this matter with China, Toner said: “Yes, I believe we raised it with the Chinese, as we would raise any human rights concerns.”

On June 8, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) of the UN Human Rights Council called upon the Chinese authorities “to disclose the fate and whereabouts of all those who have been subject to enforced disappearances in China, including a group of Tibetan monks whose fate or whereabouts still remain unknown.”

ICT Reports:

Tapey

Tapey

Date: February 27, 2009

Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Twenties
Monastery: Kirti

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: Tapey, a Kirti monk in his mid-twenties, was shot by security personnel when he set himself on fire as a form of protest after prayer ceremonies at his monastery were cancelled. Early in the afternoon, according to at least two sources including one who spoke to an eyewitness, Tapey walked alone to a nearby crossroads in the market area of the town. He had already doused himself with oil by the time he reached the crossroads. He then set himself on fire and raised a home-made Tibetan flag that had at its center a photograph of the Dalai Lama. When Tapey began to shout slogans (no details are yet known of what he said), People’s Armed Police (PAP) personnel stationed nearby opened fire, and Tapey fell to the ground. Reports indicate that the PAP extinguished the fire after Tapey was shot and he was immediately taken away by police.

ICT Report:

Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche and his niece Atse

Thubten Nyandak and Atse

Date: April 6, 2012
Ages: 45 and 23

Current whereabouts/wellbeing:
Both deceased

Circumstances around the deaths of a Tibetan religious figure and his niece in Kardze who died in a fire remain unclear. Thubten Nyandak, 45, and his niece Atse, 23 died on April 6, 2012, in their residence at a monastery.

A Tibetan in the area quoted a monastery administrator as saying that Tulku Athub and his niece Atse died in an accidental fire, but said the local Tibetan community believes they may have self-immolated “for the cause of Tibet.” A Tibetan source told RFA: “On April 6, Tulku Athub told his family in a phone call that ‘I have lighted many butter lamps for the benefit of those who have set themselves on fire for the cause of Tibet.’ Soon afterward, the residence was seen ablaze, and the Tulku and his niece were both found dead.”

Tibetan writer Woeser said on her blog (www.middleway.net) that according to her information, this was a case of self-immolation and not an accidental house fire.

ICT will update details as they become available.

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