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    » 02/25/2013, 00.00


    Young Tibetan man sets himself on fire in monastery in Qinghai

    Phakmo Dhondup self-immolates in protest against Beijing's hard-line stance against Tibet. In his 20s, he was taken to hospital with burns on much of his body. Security forces impose restrictions on the area of the incident. Monasteries organise special prayers for his prompt recovery.

    Dharamsala (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A young Tibetan man torched himself at a monastery in Qinghai province at 8 pm on Sunday in protest against Beijing's hard-line policy in Tibet, triggering an immediate security clampdown in Tsapon Township Tsoshar Prefecture, Bayan Khar County, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. He was immediately taken to a nearby hospital with serious burns, local witnesses said.

    Phakmo Dhondup, who hailed from Upper Sakar village close to the Jachung monastery, is the 105th Tibetan so far to self-immolate since early 2009, when Tibetans began using this extreme form of protest in order to demand religious freedom, self-government, and the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.  

    "Monks at the monastery are conducting special prayers for his recovery," sources said. At the same time, hundreds of security forces have arrived at the monastery and imposed restrictions.

    Most self-immolations have occurred in provinces like Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu, bordering on Tibet. Out of 105 cases, more than 20 involved underage protesters or 18-year-olds.

    In dealing with the situation, Chinese authorities have opted for an iron-fist approach. Instead of listening to the protesters, Beijing has blamed the suicides on the Dalai Lama and his "gang".

    They have also introduced harsher measures against anyone planning self-immolation or just talking about in public.

    In recent weeks, a Chinese court sentenced 15 Tibetans, including many Buddhist monks, to jail terms of up to 13 years.

    Today, another young Tibetan self-immolated. Tsesung Kyab, 27, set himself on fire in front of Shetsang Monastery, Shetsang township, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He died at the scene.

    Chinese Public Security Bureau personnel tried to remove the body but were prevented by local people who took it to his home village of Chokhor.

    Today is the last day of the Molam festival, one of Tibetan Buddhism's main festivities.


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    See also

    17/04/2013 TIBET - CHINA
    Young mother sets herself on fire, bringing number of self-immolations to 115
    The young woman, Jugtso, leaves a husband and a three-year-old child. The extreme form of protest took place near Jonang Monastery, scene of similar incidents in the past. NGO calls on Beijing to listen.

    05/12/2013 TIBET - CHINA
    Young Tibetan father sets himself on fire calling for an end to Chinese repression
    Konchon Tseten, 30, burnt for more than an hour before he was taken away by police. His current condition is unknown. When a group of Tibetans try to defend him, police intervene to arrest people, including his wife and relatives. Tseten's self-immolation is the 124th of its kind since protests began.

    20/10/2011 CHINA – TIBET
    Beijing accuses Dalai Lama of inciting suicide
    The Communist government, which is atheist and opposed to religious freedom, talks about violations of ethics and conscience in the case of self-immolating Buddhist monks in Tibet. A local source instead blames the Chinese regime for destroying “the bases of our peaceful religion in Tibet”. This, i.e. suicidem “is what follows”.

    30/01/2013 TIBET - INDIA - CHINA
    Tibetan People's Solidarity Campaign launched in Dharamsala
    Between 30 January and 2 February, a series of events and meetings will be held in New Delhi on Chinese repression in Tibet. The international community "must act now and condemn what is happening in this land," Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said. Although he is opposed to self-immolations, he believes they are sign of Tibetans' desperation and determination.

    07/10/2010 TIBET – CHINA
    Two Tibetan monks get lengthy prison terms in Lhasa
    The Intermediate People’s Court in the Tibetan capital gives Jampel Wangchuk and Kunchok Nyima life and 20 years in prison respectively. Both took part in the March 2008 anti-Chinese protests. The crackdown against Tibetan Buddhism continues.

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