Another self-immolation rocks Tibet, Toll reaches 102
Namlha Tsering, 49, sets himself on fire in Sangchu region of Labrang, eastern Tibet on February 17, 2013.
Phayul: In reports just in, another Tibetan set himself on fire today in the Labrang region of eastern Tibet protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Namlha Tsering, 49, carried out his fiery protest at around 5:40 pm (local time) in Sangchu region of Labrang. His current condition is not known although sources say chances of his survival are minimal.
Photos received by Phayul show Namlha Tsering sitting cross-legged in the middle of a street even as high flames are rising from his body. In another photo he is seen fallen on his back with fire still leaping from his body.
An exiled Tibetan, Sonam, citing sources in the region told Phayul that eyewitnesses have expressed fear over his death.
“It is very unlikely that he could have survived his protest as the fire was burning very strongly,” Sonam cited an eyewitness as saying.
Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene of the protest, doused the flames and bundled him away.
In another photo, a number of armed forces could also be seen parading on the street soon after the protest.
Since 2009, as many as 102 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Tibetan self-immolator Namlha Tsering, 49.
In the past few weeks, China has sentenced a Tibetan to death with a two-year reprieve and several others to lengthy jail terms of up to 13 years for “crimes” related the self-immolation protests.
In a statement released earlier this week, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people noted that the ongoing and unprecedented self-immolations by an increasing number of Tibetans in Tibet are the “ultimate acts of civil disobedience against China’s failed rule in Tibet.”
“Concrete steps that the leaders of the world need to take immediately are to send Ms Navi Pillay of UNHCR on a visit to Tibet and investigate the real causes of self immolations, and convene a meeting to discuss and address the crisis in Tibet,” Sikyong Sangay said.
Speaking to reporters, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Friday said the US remains deeply concerned by the reports of Tibet self-immolations, terming the rising numbers “horrific figures.”
"We call on those who are immolating or those who might be considering this to think hard about whether it's the best way to express yourself," she said.
"We also, as we always do, call on the Chinese government to address its own policies in Tibet that have caused these kinds of tensions and frustration," Nuland said in response to a question.
"I think you can tell from the situation that it remains quite tense," she added.