TYC Condemns Nepal Government secretly cremating Tibetan self-immolation

Dharamsala: The Tibetan Youth Congress have learnt from reliable sources in Nepal that venerable Drupchen Tsering’s body had been clandestinely cremated on the night of Monday 25 March 2013 at Pashupati Aryaghat (cremation ground). Despite repeated pleas made to the Government of Nepal, the Kathmandu Administrator went ahead and cremated the body without releasing it to the Tibetan Community. His body was reportedly removed around midnight of Sunday 24th March from Teaching Hospital, where it was kept since his self-immolation and demise on 13 February 2013.

According to the same source, the body was cremated by four local youth whose job as undertakers is to cremate unclaimed or unidentified bodies. It further stated that five policemen including the inspector of Gaushala area police office brought a charred body from the Teaching Hospital to the Aryaghat at Pashupati. There were no other bodies being cremated at the ground at the time. The policemen did not even pay for the service of the four youth as had earlier promised. The sources also revealed that the policemen purchased firewood and butter on credit from the depot across the river, which had also been left unpaid. Drupchen Tsering’s body was cremated at ground no. 7 in complete secrecy with no religious or traditional rituals observed, with no one to pay tribute to his heroic sacrifice and with debts pending for his funeral service.

It provoked the suspicion of the youth when a charred body was brought at such an odd hour and when the Inspector waited on throughout the entire process to ensure that the body was completely reduced to
ashes and disposed in the river. The entire cremation lasted approximately four hours until the early hours of the following morning.

This news comes as a shock and grief to TYC who had made repeated appeals and attempts through various channels to get his body released to the Tibetan community to carry out the necessary Buddhist cremation rituals. Nepal had earlier declared that it would declare the body ‘unclaimed’ unless a kin of the monk came to receive the body of the deceased within seven days of the release of the notice. This, despite the authorities complete knowledge that the deceased was a Tibetan refugee and didn’t have any relatives outside Tibet and that his parents and kins feared Chinese persecution if they tried to come to Nepal.

Today, when we observe the one-year death anniversary of Jampel Yeshi we remember the honour and respect the Indian government bestowed Jampel at the time of bringing his body from New Delhi to Dharamshala enabling us to carry out a respectable funeral ceremony. “While Jampel Yeshi was provided treatment befitting a national hero by the Indian Government, we are appalled and deeply disappointed with the government of Nepal which as an independent and constitutionally democratic country has behaved like a totalitarian regime and allowed China to completely undermine its sovereignty”, said the President, Tsewang Rigzin of Tibetan Youth Congress. “We condemn insensitive this act”, he added.

Drupchen Tsering had escaped Tibet around the end of January and secured asylum through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee in Nepal.

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