Another Tibetan burns to death in protest against China, Fourth self-immolation this month

Phayul: Another Tibetan has set himself on fire today in protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet in Bora, Sangchu region of Amdo, eastern Tibet.

Lhamo Kyab, 27, father of two young daughters, today set himself on fire near the Bora Monastery at around 2 pm (local time) in Sangchu district. According to eyewitnesses, he succumbed to his burn injuries at the site of his protest.

According to Sonam, a Tibetan living in south India with close contacts in the region, Lhamo Kyab set himself on fire on a road near the Bora Monastery. 

"Engulfed in flames, Lhamo Kyab raised slogans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and then fell to the ground after walking a few steps," Sonam told Phayul.

Following the self-immolation, a minor scuffle broke out at the site of the protest between Chinese security personnel and local Tibetans, who succeeded in carrying Lhamo Kyab’s charred body inside the Monastery’s main prayer hall.

"The monks began to offer prayers for the deceased, even as a large number of Tibetans started to arrive at the Monastery upon hearing about the protest," the same source said.

As of latest information received, monks and local Tibetans have carried Lhamo Kyab’s body to his home.

He is survived by his wife Droji Kyi and two daughters Pema Tso and Drugmo Tso, both under 10 years of age.

The month of October has now witnessed four self-immolations in Tibet. Gudrub, 43, Sangya Gyatso, 27, and Tamdin Dorjee, 52, all passed away in their fiery protests. 

On May 27 this year, Dorjee Tseten, a native of Bora, set himself on fire in front of the historic Jokhang Temple in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, along with his colleague at work, Dhargey. 

On March 20 earlier this year, more than 100 monks from the Bora Monastery had marched towards the township-level government buildings carrying Tibetan flags and pictures of the Dalai Lama calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. 

The next day, Chinese security officers entered the Monastery at around 2 am (local time) and arrested 40 monks, prompting a gathering of a large number of monks calling for the immediate release of fellow monks.

The local security officials, fearing more protests, released all 40 monks a few hours later, but told the monks to make “personal statements” admitting that they have made a “mistake” which they will not repeat in future.

Bora monastery has faced heavy restrictions since the 2008 uprisings in Tibet. The restrictions were tightened after Losar, Tibetan New Year this year when monks in the monastery displayed a picture of the Dalai Lama.

The Chinese government, in the lead up to next month’s Party Congress, which will see its once in a decade top leadership change, has called for stricter measures to maintain stability and suppress dissenting voices.

56 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in Tibet demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

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