Two more Tibetans self-immolate to protest against Chinese oppression
Lhasa (AsiaNews) - Two more Tibetans have died from self-immolation to protest against Chinese oppression.
Dendup Gopchep (pictured), 30, a monk living in exile in Nepal, died at the Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu after setting himself on fire in front of Boudhanath stupa in the Nepali capital during events marking lunar New Year in front of the. He is the second Tibetan to die in exile from self-immolation for Tibetan freedom.
On 3 February, a former monk from Kirti Monastery set himself on fire near a police station in Aba Prefecture (Sichuan, southern China). Lobsang Namgyal, 37, died soon after from his injuries. In 2012, he had been arrested and beaten by police for participating in an anti-Chinese demonstration.
Lobsand's death was reported only today in the media. Local sources say that before he poured petrol on himself, he called for the return of the Dalai Lama, wishing him long life. Eventually, police collected his remains and returned them to his family.
Local sources are also saying that Tibetans are hiding self-immolation cases because Chinese authorities control communication in order to avoid leaks.
After Lobsang Namgyal's death, police arrested his younger brother and placed his family under tight surveillance fearing protest.
Last Friday, a People's Court in the northwestern province of Qinghai sentenced a Tibetan man to 13 years in prison for inciting a Tibetan monk to set himself on fire to protest against Chinese rule and demand the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
With the death of Dendup Gopchep and Lobsang Namgyal, the number of self-immolation has risen to 101, 85 fatal.
"This grim milestone should be a source of shame to the Chinese authorities who are responsible" for "the ongoing crisis in Tibet," said Stephanie Brigden, the director of Free Tibet.
"China employs brutal repression, propaganda and bribery to no avail," she explained. However, "protest and resistance will continue as long as the Tibetan people are denied their freedom."
Sadly, "global leaders have chosen not to antagonise China by speaking up for the oppressed people of Tibet. It is long past time for that to change: do another 100 have to set themselves alight before the international community holds China to account?"
(Kalpit Parajuli and Nirmala Carvalho contributed to the article)