Monk dies in self-immolation protest against China

Tibetan monk Tenga, 63, died in a self-immolation protest against Chinese rule in Tibet, on 26 November 2017.

Tibetan monk Tenga, 63, died in a self-immolation protest against Chinese rule in Tibet, on 26 November 2017. Photographer unknown

By Lobsang Wangyal

McLEOD GANJ, India, 29 November 2017

A Tibetan monk from eastern Tibet has burnt himself to death to protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet, according to exile Tibetans.

Tenga, 63, took the extreme step of self-immolation on Sunday in Kardze, in what China calls “Sichuan province” in the traditional Kham region of Tibet.

He called for freedom in Tibet as he was consumed by flames.

Police rushed to the scene immediately and took away his body.

Following the incident, a large number of police have been deployed in the area to scrutinise any further political activities.

Exile Tibetans in McLeod Ganj took to the streets in a candlelight march, and chanted prayers to show their support and solidarity with Tenga.

Tibetans say China forcibly occupied Tibet in 1959, and have misruled it since.

Self-immolation has regularly been used as a protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. All the the protesters have called for an end to Chinese rule in Tibet, and to let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet.

In July two Tibetans set themselves on fire in India in an act of protest against China. Both have died.

One was a 19-year old student named Tenzin Choeying from the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, and the other was a 48-year-old man Pasang Dhondup, a painter at Norbulingka Institute in Sidhpur near Dharamshala. Dhondup died in the fiery protest on the circumambulation path around the Dalai Lama’s residence and temple in McLeod Ganj.

In another case of taking his own life to protest against the Chinese rule, a Tibetan man named Tashi Namgyal, aged 32, committed suicide by lying on train tracks in Switzerland. He demanded UN attention to the Tibetan cause, and asked the Swiss government to grant asylum for 300 Tibetans seeking asylum.

The number of self-immolations has crossed 150 since the first one in Tibet in 2009.

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