By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 30 August 2015
A Tibetan woman has died on Thursday after setting herself on fire in protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet, according to a Tibetan rights group in India.
Tashi Kyi, age 55, self-immolated in her house and died the next day. She was from Ngulra Village in Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, reports Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
The fiery protest took place in the “New Socialist Village” in Sangkhog, where nomads are resettled in identical rows of concrete houses.
“As soon as Tibetans saw her ablaze, they tried to save her by putting out the fire. Unfortunately, they couldn’t save her. She died early morning the next day, at around 3am,” a source told TCHRD.
On Friday morning the Chinese police arrived and took away her body despite the protests of family and onlookers.
The self-immolation followed the arrival of about 150 Chinese security forces and officials in Ngulra on Thursday, who then demolished the house of a Tibetan resident.
It is not clear whether the demolition of the house has any connection with Tashi Kyi’s self-immolation protest, but the police raid infuriated the owner of the house, leading to clashes between him and the security forces.
Two of the security forces fell to the ground unconscious after the man attacked the security officers, and the rest of them fled. The security forces returned later and arrested him, a source told TCHRD.
Kyi had visited India twice to receive teachings and blessings from the Dalai Lama, whom China considers a “dangerous splittist”. Her last visit to India was during the Kalachakra Empowerment given by the Dalai Lama in 2012.
The self-immolation by Tashi Kyi brought the total verified number of self-immolations both in and outside Tibet to 149. The majority succumbed to their injuries, while the status of a few remains unknown.