Following the self-immolation of Tenzin Phuntsok in Chamdo region of Tibet, the Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-exile once again blamed China’s “repressive policies” for pushing Tibetans to the extreme of setting their bodies on fire.
“If the Chinese government fails to end its repressive policies and oppression on Tibetans, the situation in Tibet is bound to become more critical,” the Tibetan Parliament said in a release Friday.
Tenzin Phuntsok, 46, a former monk of Karma monastery in Chamdo, set himself on fire on Thursday, in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
The Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in a release said that Tenzin Phuntsok “shouted slogans and distributed leaflets” before setting himself on fire.
“We demand an investigative team to be immediately allowed inside Tibet to assess the ground situation and urge for urgent measures to resolve the sufferings of the Tibetans inside Tibet,” the exile parliament added.
The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamshala and Tibetan Women’s Association jointly organised a candle light vigil yesterday evening here in town in honour of Tenzin Phuntsok.
Hundreds of Tibetans and foreigners joined the candle light march.
“We condemn the Chinese government for their repressive policies and faulty security measures in Tibet,” said Monlam Tharchin, a member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile while speaking at the candle light vigil.
“Eyewitnesses in Tibet say that in the fire that enveloped his body, one of Tenzin Phuntsok’s arms was almost falling down,” said Tharchin, confirming earlier reports of severe burn injuries suffered by Tenzin Phuntsok, leaving little hope of survival.
“We are in constant touch with Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay and Speaker Penpa Tsering who are currently in Europe, taking up the critical situation in Tibet with various governmental and non-governmental leaders,” said the Tibetan parliamentarian.
In a letter of condolence sent to the Central Tibetan Administration, the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism expressed “solidarity” with the Tibetans on the recent cases of “tragic self-immolations” in Tibet.
“We stand firmly behind non-violence and wholeheartedly oppose the use of military forces as a solution to any conflict in the world,” the letter stated.
This is the twelfth known case of self-immolation in Tibet since March this year.