Dharamshala, September 26: In reports coming out of Tibet, two more monks in eastern Tibet set themselves ablaze in an apparent anti-China protest today at around 10 am local time.
While bystanders have told sources in exile that one of the protesting monks died on the spot, the other who has been described as being in critical condition was taken to an undisclosed location by Chinese security personnel.
Today’s fiery sacrifice comes as the fourth incidence in this year alone when China’s repressive policies in Tibet have forced Tibetans to take the drastic step of self-immolation as a non-violent mean to protest China’s rule over Tibet.
In a release today the exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala described the two monks as Lobsang Kalsang, younger brother of monk Lobsang Phuntsok who died after setting himself on fire on March 16 and Lobsang Kunchok, both around 18 years of age. The monks belong to the under-siege Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet.
“The two monks carried out their protest in the central town of Ngaba district and raised slogans calling for the long-life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and religious freedom in Tibet before setting themselves on fire,” the release said.
Following the March 16 self-immolation of monk Lobsang Phuntsok, Ngaba Kirti Monastery has been taken over by hundreds of Chinese government officials and the monastery placed under heavy security surveillance with many of its monks disappeared and sentenced to lengthy jail terms.
The release noted that while the monks have been subjected to incessant political re-education sessions by Chinese officials, they have been kept in virtual prison for the last five months with Chinese security personnel keeping a strict watch over their movement.
Confirming beefed up security in and around the entire Ngaba region and increased restrictions on communication, the release said that the phone lines in Ngaba area were not connecting.
The Central Tibetan Administration in a release today conveyed its “heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family members of both individuals” and called upon the Chinese authorities to “immediately address the grievances of the Tibetan people and resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully.”
“These recent series of self-immolation in Tibet attest to the desperation of the Tibetan people arising from the grim current situation in which they live,” the release said.
Phayul, Monday, September 26, 2011