Resistance in Tibet: Self-immolation and protest China
East Turkestan Xinjiang
TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION
T S A N G
Chabcha Tsapon(1) Chentsa(1) Kangsta(1) Sangchu(6) Rebkong(11) Tsoe(6) Gepa Sumdo Amchok(6) Tsekhog(6) Sogpo Bora(3) Dzatoe(3) Tridu(1) Machu(1) Luchu(6) Chigdril Darlag(1) Jyekundo(3) Dzoge(10) Pema (2) Ngaba(36) Serthar(1) Dzamthang(6) Chamdo(1)
TIBET Map artwork: Catherine Quine. Thanks to Tibet Justice for mapping data.
TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION
T S A N G Damshung(1)
ovinces and Autonomous Regions Regions ) uary 2012 Bangladesh
Border of Tibet Chinese Named Provinces and Autonomous Regions Traditional Tibetan Regions Self Immolations (#) Protests since January 2012
60 years of China’s repressive policies and a severe and worsening security crackdown have created a crisis in occupied-Tibet, provoking an unprecedented wave of selfimmolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople. There have been at least 132 confirmed self-immolation protests in Tibet. More than 100 of the protesters have died. In the last five years there has been a surge in protests by Tibetans in Tibet, notably in 2008 but increasing again since early 2012, with demonstrators calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. China’s response to such protests has been brutal, with reports of armed police attacking and beating demonstrators and, in a number of cases, opening fire, killing peaceful protesters and seriously injuring many more. China’s once-a-decade leadership change is now complete, with Xi Jinping showing no sign of reviewing harsh policies in Tibet. As Tibetan resistance against China’s rule continues, Beijing has tightened its grip on public security, criminalized the families of self-immolation protesters, and stepped up restrictions on communications in Tibet in an effort to cut Tibet off from the rest of the world. A recent Human Rights Watch report concludes “the scope of the new restrictions reflect a sharp change in official views about Tibetan unrest, which officials previously stated was caused by ‘a small number’ or ‘a handful’ of Tibetans.” The report continues, “but following protests across the Tibetan plateau in 2008, leaders there have now acknowledged, at least in the domestic press, that the influence of the Dalai Lama is widespread among Tibetans, including in rural areas, where some 85 percent of Tibetans live.” China’s flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights and its violent and systematic assault on the Tibetan people must be condemned by global leaders. The scale of this crisis and China’s continued unwillingness to acknowledge concern warrants a strong international response (see back page for the International Tibet Network’s demands). Resistance in Tibet: Self Immolation and Protest summarises the instances of selfimmolation and the unfolding crisis in Tibet since the first Tibetan in Tibet set light to himself in February 2009.
2014 16 March Jigme Tenzin sets himself on fire and dies in Tsekhog. Monks who carry out funeral rites arrested and beaten
17 September 2014 Lhamo Tashi sets himself on fire and dies in Tsoe City, Amdo Tibetan student, Lhamo Tashi, set fire to himself and has died outside a government Public Security Bureau headquarters in Tsoe City, northeastern Tibet, where he was studying. After setting himself on fire at around midnight, Lhamo Tashi, who was in his early twenties, was taken away by police in Tsoe City, the capital of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province (the Tibetan area of Amdo).
15 April Thinley Namgyal sets himself on fire and dies in Tawu, Kham 32 year old Thinley Namgyal set light to his body in protest against China’s rule in Tibet. He died at the scene. His body was taken to Gongthel monastery initially and then to his home. In July 2013 Chinese forces opened fire on Tibetans in Tawu who were celebrating the birthday of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
29 March Tibetan nun, Dolma, sets herself on fire in Bathang county, Kardze 31-years-old Tibetan nun, Dolma, set fire to herself outside Ba Choede monastery, Bathang county, Kham. Dolma’s protest is the first self-immolation in Bathang county (CH: Sichuan Province) since this form of resistance started in 2009. It is reported that local Tibetans witnessed the protest, extinguished the flames, and took Dolma to a nearby hospital.
Jigme Tenzin, a Tibetan monk in his late twenties, set himself on fire near Shador Monastery in Tsekhog county. A security and communications crackdown in the area meant that Jigme Tenzin’s name and protest were not confirmed until eleven days later. Reports state that Jigme Tenzin had already died when monks from the local monastery found him. They performed funeral rites and informed the police of his protest. Police later arrested fourteen monks from the monastery, eleven of whom remain in detention. The detained monks were reported to have been severely beaten in custody. Heavy security has been deployed inside Shador Monastery, with monks placed under “house arrest”. Contact between the monastery and the local community has been forbidden, and a “political re-education” campaign imposed on the monastery. Jigme Tenzin’s father appealed directly to security forces not to punish monks from Shador Monastery. He was arrested on 22 March and his current whereabouts are unknown. Jigme Tenzin’s two brothers were also arrested on 18 March; they were later released. Local Chinese authorities have refused permission for traditional Tibetan death rituals to be conducted at Jigme Tenzin’s home.
16 March Lobsang Palden sets himself on fire on the sixth anniversary of a deadly crackdown by Chinese authorities on Tibetans in Ngaba
13 February Lobsang Dorje, a 25 year old former monk of Kirti Monastery, sets light to himself in Ngaba Lobsang Dorje made his protest in the the same street as Tapey, almost five years previously (27 February 2009). Kirti monks in exile told the International Campaign for Tibet: “As they were driving him away in the back of a pickup van covered with black canvas, he sat up and joined his palms in a gesture of defiance, but the policemen pushed him back down. At present it is not known whether he is alive or dead, or where he has been taken.” After the incident, numerous images appeared on social media of a significant security build-up in Ngaba.
Lobsang Palden, 20, from Kirti monastery, set himself on fire on the main road in Ngaba. Palden shouted protest slogans while he was on fire and before Chinese security forces rushed to the scene, doused the flames and took him away. His whereabouts and condition are currently unknown. Reports state that Palden left behind a written and a voice message in which he called for unity among Tibetans and sincerity in whatever they strive to achieve.
5 February 2014 Phakmo Samdup, a father of two, sets himself on fire and dies in Tsekhog, Amdo Phakmo Samdup, in his late twenties, set himself alight near a school in Dokarmo township, Tsekhog county. He died at the scene and his body was taken by Chinese authorities. Communication in the region is now heavily restricted. The local authorities are warning people not to let news reach the outside world and are also spreading the allegation that the young man committed suicide for personal reasons.
2013 Alas The tears The heart aches Dear brother Can you hear me? Can you see it? Can you hear it? Whom should we appeal to [relieve] the suffering of six million Tibetans? The tyrannical laws of the Chinese They are taking away our treasure house of gold and silver The public is being subjected to oppression Thinking about these, tears flow out of my eyes I am compelled to burn my precious human body For the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama For the release of the imprisoned Panchen Lama For the welfare of the six million Tibetans I offer my body to the fire I pray that my sacrifice serves all the sentient beings in their path to liberation
3 December Tibetan father of two self-immolates and dies in Meruma, Ngaba, Amdo
19 December Tsultrim Gyatso selfimmolates and dies in Amchok, Amdo
Konchok Tseten, a 30 year old TIbetan nomad and father of two, set himself on fire in Meruma township centre in Ngaba. Radio Free Asia report Konchok Tseten ran for a short distance while his body was engulfed in flames and shouted slogans against Beijing’s rule in Tibet, called for the return of the Dalai Lama, and for the reunion of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. Radio Free Asia also report that local residents clashed with police as they attempted to halt security forces from taking Kunchok Tseten, who was severely injured, away. Several Tibetans were detained including Kunchok Tseten’s wife and several of his relatives. Security in the area was tightened with Tibetan stores and restaurants ordered to close and a many mobile phones confiscated from local Tibetans. Tseten was later reported to have died. This is the second recorded self-immolation protest in Meruma, see 10 August 2012 – Young nomad Choepa shouts slogans and self-immolates in Meruma Township, Ngaba District.
Tsultrim Gyatso, a 41-year old Tibetan monk from Amchok Monastery, has died after he self-immolated in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet. Tsultrim Gyatso left a moving poem describing the reasons for his protest stating his concern for the “welfare of the six million Tibetans” and desire for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
Brothers of the snow land Unite for Tibet… Translated by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
11 November Tsering Gyal sets himself on fire in Pema, Golok, Amdo Tsering Gyal, a young Tibetan monk set himself on fire in Pema, Golok in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet; he later died from his injuries. Radio Free Asia report that Tsering Gyal’s protest was carried out “for the freedom of six million Tibetans and to highlight the need to re-install His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his golden throne. He called on the Tibetans to rise up now.” The self-immolation protest occurred as security was intensified in Beijing for an important Chinese Communist Party meeting.
2013 6 July Shootings in Tawu at a peaceful celebration of the Dalai Lama’s birthday
28 September Shichung sets himself on fire and dies in Ngaba county
6 October 60 Tibetans shot during a non-violent protest in eastern Tibet Chinese security forces shot at least 60 Tibetans, some seriously, in Driru, Nagchu, Central Tibet. Chinese troops opened fire on Tibetans who had gathered to call for the release of a villager, named as Dorje Dragtsel. Dragtsel had been detained on 3 October after objecting to orders from a visiting ‘patriotic education’ work team, which was attempting to force Tibetans to raise the Chinese flag and show loyalty to the Communist Party. The previous week, dozens of Tibetans in Driru were beaten and injured, and more than 40 detained by security forces, after the authorities failed to compel locals to raise the Chinese flag for China’s National Day.
20 July Kunchok Sonam, a teenage Tibetan monk, sets himself on fire and dies in Dzoge
Shichung, a 41-year old father of two, set fire to himself and died in Gomang village, Ngaba county. When local Tibetans attempted to gathered around his body, armed police aimed guns at the crowd. Shichung set himself on fire outside his house and ran along the road shouting in protest against the Chinese authorities before he collapsed to the ground in flames and died, according to Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala. The monks said before he self-immolated, he lit a butter-lamp before an image of the Dalai Lama. A few days earlier, he had said, “The Chinese will never leave us in peace”, according to the same sources.
Kunchok Sonam, an 18year old monk who was an ‘exceptional’ student, became the ninth self-immolation in Dzoge. He reportedly told friends that living under Chinese rule brought too much suffering. Kunchok Sonam set himself on fire in front of his monastery (Soktsang Thekchokling) and died. Friends were able to conduct prayers for him, despite authorities’ attempts to prevent religious rites from being held.
Chinese police opened fire on Tibetans who were holding a picnic and prayers to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday, injuring at least ten people including two who were shot in the head. After stopping Tibetans at a local monastery from ritually burning juniper leaves, police in riot gear blocked a bridge as Tibetan families, monks, and nuns were returning from a grassland where they’d finished religious festivities for the Dalai Lama. Elder monks and police were trying to resolve a dispute when a PAP leader Tsering Norbu gave orders to open fire, alleged a Tibetan in exile from Tawu. Exile sources have reported that at least 16 Tibetans were tortured and beaten after being taken into custody of armed police. Several people reported broken legs and ribs and loss of hearing after the beatings. The current condition and whereabouts of the victims is not known, however the two people shot in the head are believed to have survived. Following this incident, the authorities attempted to shut down outside communications by blocking phone and internet connections but graphic images emerged of the injuries inflicted on the unarmed Tibetans. Hundreds of Tibetans gathered to protest the detentions and unnecessary use of brutal force, and rejected Tawu officials’ offers to bear the medical costs of the victims.
11 June Young Tibetan nun self-immolates and dies in Tawu, Kham 21-year old Wangchen Dolma set herself on fire at Nyitso monastery in Tawu County, eastern Tibet, during a major Tibetan Buddhist gathering that had been previously banned by Chinese authorities in 2012. Wangchen Dolma died in hospital on 14 June. Chinese authorities refused to hand her body over to family members stopping them from preforming traditional Tibetan rites of passage. Her body was later cremated by the authorities and her family were ordered not to release any information about her protest or to visit the monastery.
24 April Two young monks self-immolate and die in Dzoge Losang Dawa, 20, and Konchok Woeser, 23, two Tibetan monks from Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery, set themselves on fire at the monastery and both died at the scene. During their selfimmolation protest the two young monks shouted slogans against the Chinese governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s occupation of Tibet. Their bodies were moved by monks from the monastery but local Chinese authorities indicated that their remains were to be cremated the following day.
27 May Tenzin Sherab, a Tibetan nomad, selfimmolates and dies in Jyekundo Tenzin Sherab, in his early thirties, set fire to himself and died in the Gyaring area of Jyekundo, Amdo. It is reported that his body was taken away by police but later released to his family. The family were questioned on why they thought Tenzin Sherab had self-immolated.
16 April Chugtso, a young Tibetan mother, self immolates and dies in Dzamthang, Ngaba Young Tibetan mother Chungtso set herself alight outside a monastery in Ngaba, Amdo. Local witnesses confirmed that she died at the scene and her body was taken into the monastery where religious ceremonies were conducted. Local Chinese authorities ordered her family to cremate the body immediately, in contravention of Tibetan tradition. Hundreds of members of the local community gathered near the family home in preparation for the cremation.
Late March/early April Unknown Tibetan woman selfimmolates in Jyekundo It is reported that an unidentified Tibetan woman self-immolated in late March/early April in protest over the planned destruction of her home in Jyekundo. In April 2010, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the area, killing 2,698 and leaving 100,000 homeless according to the official count. The subsequent reconstruction process has been fraught with opaque government planning and scant local consultation. The womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s condition is believed to not be life-threatening, according to Radio Free Asia
24 March Kalkyi, a mother of four, self-immolates and dies in Dzamthang
26 March Kunchok Tenzin selfimmolates and dies in Luchu
25 March Lhamo Kyab, Tibetan forest keeper, self-immolates on a wooden pyre in Sangchu
Kunchok Tenzin, a monk from Mogri monastery in Luchu, passed away following his self-immolation protest. He was 28 years old, and had been a monk since he was young. Local Tibetans carried his body inside the monastery and cremated him immediately to prevent Chinese police from seizing his remains. Due to severe communication blackouts in the area, it took two days for news of his self-immolation to reach exile sources.
Lhamo Kyab, a 43 year old Tibetan forest keeper, doused himself in kerosene and set himself on fire amid a woodpile at approximately 10am. His body burned completely except for his skull. He lived in the small village of Sangchu, in Labrang. More information is not yet available due to communication restrictions in the area.
Kalkyi began her protest at the site of Jonang Monastery in Dzamthang, in Eastern Tibet, around 3:30pm. Her body was engulfed in flames and people nearby could not hear what she was shouting. She died from her injuries, and local Tibetans carried her body inside the monastery to protect it from Chinese forces. She is survived by both of her parents, her husband, and her four children all younger than 15 years old (three boys and one girl). More than 4,000 Tibetans joined her funeral at the Jonang Monastery.
16 March Lobsang Thogme self-immolates and dies in Ngaba, Amdo 28-year old Kirti monk Lobsang Thogme set fire to himself and died on the fifth anniversary of a protest in Ngaba in which armed police fired into an unarmed crowd killing an estimated 18 Tibetans. Lobsang is the third Kirti monk to set fire to himself on the anniversary of the crackdown in 2008. Sources in exile stated “Before reaching the gate, he fell to the ground. By that time, many monks and laypeople reached the spot, and he was taken to the county hospital, but passed away soon after. It is not known what he shouted during his protest. On arrival at the hospital, a large force of police and soldiers came there and forcibly took possession of his remains, which they then took to the prefecture headquarters at Barkham.”
13 March Tibetan mother, Kunchok Wangmo, self-immolates and dies in Dzoge, Amdo
25 February Tsesung Kyab self-immolates and dies in Luchu, Amdo; Sangdak selfimmolates in Ngaba, Amdo
Kunchok Wangmo, a 31-year old mother of one, set herself on fire in protest against China’s rule in Tibet. Kunchok Wangmo’s body was taken away by troops immediately after her self-immolation and cremated before her family had time to carry out traditional Tibetan rituals. Information about her protests took a number of days to reach exile due to the serious crackdown in the region. Her husband, Dolma Kyab, was detained when he refused to comply with an order by the Chinese authorities who wanted to blame the self-immolation on a family dispute.
Tsesung Kyab (left), 27, set himself on fire in front of the main prayer hall of the Shitsang Monastery, Luchu, eastern Tibet. He died at the scene of his protest. Tsesung Kyab is the cousin of Pema Dorjee who self-immolated on 8 December 2012 in Luchu. Sangdak, a Tibetan monk from Dhiphu Monastery, set himself alight on a main road in Ngaba, Amdo, eastern Tibet. Exact news of Sangdag’s status and whereabouts is currently unknown but it is believed that he was taken to hospital by Chinese police.
24 February Phagmo Dhondup self-immolates in Tsapon, Amdo Phagmo Dhondup, a Tibetan man in his 20s, set himself on fire inside Jhakhyung Monastery, Tsapon, eastern Tibet. It is reported that Phagmo Dhondup was taken to a nearby hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment. No additional information on his condition was available.
February Ngawang Thupden sentenced to two years hard labour for having photos of two self-immolation protesters on his phone News emerged that Ngawang Thupden, a 20-year old Tibetan traditional artist, was detained in Lhasa in October 2012 and later sentenced for “subversion” after photos of two friends who had selfimmolated, and a picture of a Tibetan National Flag, were found on his phone. Ngawang Thupden’s relatives learned of his prison sentence in February 2013, four months after his detention.
17 February Namlha Tsering selfimmolates and dies in Labrang, Amdo 19 February Two Tibetan teenagers youths self-immolate and die in Dzoge, Ngaba Rinchen (right), 17, and Sonam Dhargye, 18, set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese government repression in Tibet. Both are believed to have shouted slogans but information is not clear exactly what they shouted. Both died at the scene of the protest and their bodies have been taken to their homes.
Namlha Tsering, 49-year old Tibetan farmer and nomad, set himself on fire and died in the main street of Labrang in Amdo. Images emerged showing a man huddled on the road amidst traffic with his body ablaze. Chinese police and paramilitary arrived quickly on the scene and removed Namlha Tsering. It is not yet known whether he is still alive.
13 February Drugpa Khar selfimmolates and dies in Amchok, Amdo Drugpa Khar, a young Tibetan man in his twenties, set himself on fire and died in Amchok town in Sangchu, Kanlho. Drugpa Khar was a father of three children aged between one year old and six.
3 February Lobsang Namgyal self-immolates and dies in Dzoge, Ngaba Prefecture Lobsang Namgyal, a 37-year old Tibetan monk from Kirti monastery, became the 100th Tibetan living under China’s rule to set himself on fire in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet. News of this protest took ten days to emerge from Tibet due to the heavy restrictions and intense crackdown.
2013 12 January 2013 Tsering Tashi selfimmolates and dies in Amchok township
31 January Lobsang Kunchok given suspended death sentence; Further severe prison sentences given to seven other Tibetans Lobsang Kunchok, a Tibetan monk, was given a suspended death sentence*, and his nephew Lobsang Tsering sentenced to ten years in prison, accused of “intentional homicide” connected to the self-immolation of eight Tibetans in Ngaba (although five of the self-immolations never occurred). Lobsang Kunchok and Lobsang Tsering are just two of many more Tibetans who have been arrested and sentenced in a new drive by Chinese authorities. Elaborate propaganda efforts around the trial of Lobsang Kunchok and Lobsang Tsering highlight a hard line and systematic response by Chinese authorities to recast the self-immolations as criminal acts and attribute blame for the self-immolations to ‘outside forces.’ A further six Tibetans who were sentenced in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture received sentences ranging from three to 12 years for attempting to protect a Tibetan who set fire to himself. Four of the six were charged with ‘intentional homicide’; Pema Damdrub (male, sentenced to 12 years); Kalsang Gyatso (male, sentenced to 11 years); Pema Tso (female, sentenced to eight years); and Lhamo Damchoe (male, sentenced to seven years). Two more, Dorje Kyab, who was sentenced to four years, and Yangmo Kyi, sentenced to three years, were sentenced on charges of “provoking troubles”.
22 January Kunchok Kyab self-immolates and dies near the Bora Monastery, Amdo
18 January Dupchoek selfimmolates and dies in Ngaba, Amdo
Kunchok Kyab, 23, selfimmolated near the Bora Monastery in Bora town, Sangchu, Amdo. Initial reports suggest that Kunchok Kyab died at the scene. Phayul report Kunchok is survived by his wife and a ten-month old infant.
28-year old Dupchoek set himself on fire at an open-air basketball court in Ngaba. Eyewitnesses report that he died at the scene and his body was taken away by security forces. He leaves a wife, Rigpa, and two daughters aged 3 and 4.
* Suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life in prison, unless the prisoner is alleged to have committed a crime in the first two years of his sentence.
Tsering Tashi, 22-years old, set himself on fire and died at the scene. A source in exile with links to the area told Radio Free Asia “He called for the return of [the Tibetan spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama to Tibet, saying, “May he live long, and Tibet needs freedom”. Local Tibetans prevented Chinese security forces from taking Tsebhe’s body away, carrying it instead to his family home. Despite a government ban on funerals and prayer services for self-immolators, people began to gather at the family home to pay their respects and offer prayers. Local police and security personnel arrived shortly after and ordered the traditional rituals to stop and the body to be cremated immediately. Tibetans who knew Tsebhe have described him as a “good natured and polite” young man with a keen passion for horses.
2012 3 December Lobsang Gendun self-immolates and dies in Golog Pema Dzonge December 9 Wangchen Kyi selfimmolates and dies in Tsekhog, Rebkong Wangchen Kyi, a 17-year old Tibetan schoolgirl, set herself on fire protesting Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s occupation of Tibet and calling for the long life of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She passed away at the site of her protest. Following her self-immolation protest, local Tibetans were able to rescue her body from falling into the hands of Chinese authorities. More than 3,000 Tibetans and monks are reported to have gathered at the site of the self-immolation protest and raised slogans calling for His Holiness the Dalai Lamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long life and reciting his long life prayers. Chinese armed police arrived and forcibly dispersed the crowd.
Lobsang Gendun, 29-years old, set himself on fire and raised slogans in protest against Chinese rule of Tibet. Reports state there was a minor scuffle between local Tibetans and Chinese security personnel, who tried to confiscate his body. Local Tibetans later took Lobsang Gendunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body to a nearby monastery.
8 December Pema Dorjee self-immolates and dies in Luchu, Kanhlo, Amdo; Kunchok Phelgye self-immolates and dies in Dzonge, Ngaba Pema Dorjee (left), 23-years old, set himself on fire in front of the main assembly hall of the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu. He raised slogans during his protest calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, unity of Tibetans and Tibetan independence. Pema Dorjee died from his injuries. Heavy restrictions are believed to have been placed around Shitsang Monastery. Kunchok Phelgye (right), a 24-year old Tibetan monk, set himself on fire in front of the main assembly hall of Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery. It is reported that during his protest he called for the reunification of Tibetans. He died at the scene.
30 November Kunchok Kyap selfimmolates and dies in Ngaba
2 December Sangdag Kyap self-immolates in Bora town, Sangchu Sangdag Kyab, a Tibetan man in his late teens, set himself on fire in Bora town in Sangchu. It is reported that Chinese police intervened to put out the flames, then he was taken to Kanlho hospital where he was given emergency treatment. Further reports state he was later returned to Bora but the details of his current condition are not available.
Kunchok Kyap, 29, set himself on fire in Ngaba, Amdo. Not long after the self-immolation protest began Chinese police arrived and took Kunchok Kyap to Barkham county. Kunchok Kyap later died on 1 December. Tibetans from across the region have been attending the family to offer expressions of sympathy and solidarity.
2012 27 November Kalsang Kyab, 24, self-immoaltes and died in Dzoge, Amdo. Sangay Tashi, 18, self-immolates and dies in Sangkhog town, Labrang, Amdo
28 November Wande Khar self-immolates and dies in Tsoe, Kanlho, Amdo
29 November Tsering Namgyal selfimmoates and dies in Luchu, Amdo Tsering Namgyal, a 31-year old father of two, set himself on fire near the local Chinese government office. Further details on the self-immolation protest are not available at the time of filing this report.
Wangdhen Khar, 21, set himself on fire and shouted slogans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, the release of Panchen Lama, freedom for Tibet, and the protection of Tibet’s environment. Following his self-immolation protest, monks and local Tibetans reportedly gathered at his residence to offer prayers.
Kelsang Kyab (left) set himself on fire in front of a government office in Dzoge, Amdo. Reports state he shouted slogans for the long life of the Dalai Lama and Kirti Rinpoche Sangay Tashi (right) set himself on fire at around 12 midnight and died following his protest. Reports state the young man shouted slogans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the release of all Tibetan political prisoners, including the 11th Panchen Lama, while engulfed in flames. Local Tibetans then carried his charred body to a nearby house.
28 November Tibetans hold mass prayers in Tsolho, Rebkong Around 500 Tibetans in Tsolho, Rebkong, publicly displayed a photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and carried out a mass prayer service for the Tibetan spiritual leader’s long life and for all the Tibetans who have self-immolated. According to reports a photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was placed on a throne at the Atsok Monastery in Tsolho, following which local Tibetans offered khataks (white Tibetan scarf).
26 November Thousands of Tibetan students protest in Chabcha, Amdo; Chinese security crackdown on students leaves at least 20 hospitalised Around 1,000 young Tibetan students, primarily from the Chabcha Sorig Lobling School, demonstrated in Chabcha County. Gathering early in the morning the students protested peacefully calling for Tibetan language freedom, and the “establishment a new government”. After a number of hours Chinese security forces arrived to stop the demonstration by carrying out indiscriminate beatings, injuring at least 20. At the time of reporting sources state that armed police and military forces were surrounding the school and parents of the children and other Tibetans are unable to contact the school about the safety and condition of their children.
2012 He has returned By Sangay Dolma 25 November 2012 Look up, fellow Tibetans, look at the blue twilight above, Like a heavenly tent of white mountain, My lama has returned.
26 November Kunchok Tsering, self-immolates and dies in Amchok region, Labrang. Wangyal, a student and former monk, self-immolates in Sertha. Gonpo Tsering, self-immolates and dies in Luchu region, Kanlho, Amdo
Kunchok Tsering (left), 18, set himself on fire near a mining site, the same place where Tsering Dhondup staged a protest on 20 November. According to reports, monks of the Amchok Monastery and a large number of local Tibetans gathered at the deceased’s home to offer prayers. Wangyal, a student of Sertha People’s Middle School, set himself on fire in the middle of Sertha town and raised slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Sources state, “Eyewitnesses say his hands were clasped in prayers as he ran raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for the Tibetan people.” Further reports say Chinese armed forces quickly arrived at the scene and took Wangyal away. His condition and whereabouts are not yet known although eyewitnesses say his entire body was engulfed in flames and he could have suffered major injuries. Gonpo Tsering (right), 24, a father of three children, set himself on fire in front of the main prayer hall of the Ala Deu-go Monastery Reports from the area state “While engulfed in flames, he raised slogans calling for Tibet’s freedom, human rights in Tibet, and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.” Gonpo Tsering died from his injuries and local Tibetans carried his body inside the Monastery where monks and a large number of Tibetans from the surrounding regions assembled, against official orders, to offer prayers for the deceased and express their solidarity.
Look up, fellow Tibetans, look at the summit of the snow mountains, The white snow lion has returned, My snow lion has returned. Look up, fellow Tibetans, look at the lush dense forest also. At the beauty of turquoise grassland. My tiger has returned. Look up, Tibetans, look at the snow mountains. The snowland’s era has begun. And Tibet is free and independent.
25 November Sangay Dolma, a Tibetan nun, selfimmolates and dies in Tsekhog, Malho Sangay Dolma, a young Tibetan nun, set herself on fire in front of the Chinese government office in Dokarmo town, Tsekhog, Malho, Amdo. Sangay Dolma was a nun at Sangag Mindrol Dhargeyling Monastery. After her protest large numbers of local Tibetans and monks gathered to carry out last rites and prayers at the nunnery. Sangay Dolma left behind a poem entitled ‘He Has Returned’ along with a note that said, “For the benefit of the people of the Land of Snow, beloved sons and daughters of the Land of Snow, do not forget you are brave Tibetans of the Land of Snow.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, when he lived far away, he travelled around the world, praying for the end of suffering of the red faced* Tibetans, and released us from darkness, At a time when Panchen Lama is in prison, He looks out from his prison cell, prays for “the dawn of peace and happiness in my land of snow.” *Red faced – used by Tibetans in Tibet to distinguish themselves from the Han Chinese settlers.
23 November Tamdrin Dorjee, selfimmolates and dies in Tsekhog, Malho. Tamdrin Dorjee, 29, set himself on fire in front of a government building in Dokarmo, Tsekhog, Rebkong. Tibetan exile source state, “As the flames blazed higher, he could be seen putting his hands together in prayer, shouting long life to the Dalai Lama.” Reports state that, in defiance of offical warnings not to ‘gather’, more than a thousand people gathered at the site of his selfimmolation, according to the same exile sources, praying for the Dalai Lama’s long life and chanting mantras. They then gathered for the cremation of Tamdrin Dorjee.
22 November Tamdrin Kyab, a former monk, self-immolates and dies in Kanlho. Lubhum Gyal, self-immolates and dies in Dowa township, Rebkong Tamdrin Kyab (right), 23,a former monk at Shitsang monastery who disrobed in 2007 to help his nomadic family, set fire to himself at night near the Luchu river. According to exile Tibetan sources, local people did not know about his self-immolation because it happened at night, and it was only in the morning that people found his body and took it back to his home where local Tibetans and monks from Shitsang monastery gathered to offer their condolences. International Campaign for Tibet reports that local sources state Tamdrin Kyab had heard about the spread of self-immolation protests across Tibet and had said that there was no reason to live without the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet. Lubhum Gyal, 18, set himself ablaze in the main street of Dowa township in Rebkong and died from his injuries. Tibetans gathered at the scene of Lubhum Gyal’s self-immolation. Then, disregarding official warnings, they took his body for cremation near Dowa monastery where monks conducted prayer rituals.
20 November Tsering Dundrup, selfimmolates in Labrang, Amdo Tsering Dundrup, a 24-year-old farmer and nomad, set himself on fire. He was from Chungan village in Amchok Shang, Labrang.
19 November Wangchen Norbu, self-immolates and dies in Kangtsa, Amdo Wangchen Norbu, 25, set himself on fire and shouted slogans calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, release of the Panchen Lama and freedom for Tibet.
17 November Sangdag Tsering, self-immolates and dies in Tsekhog, Malho. Chagmo Kyi, a mother of two, self-immolates and dies in Dolma Square, Rebkong Sangdag Tsering (left), 24, married with a three-year old son, set fire to himself outside a government building in Dokar Mo township in Tsekhog county, Malho. Security personnel at the scene attempted to douse the flames with water but failed. A Tibetan in exile said that Sangdag Tsering frequently spoke about the Dalai Lama not being allowed to be in Tibet, and that Tibetans have no rights. Chagmo Kyi (right), a young mother, set herself on fire in Dolma Square, Rebkong. Despite an intense military build-up in the area, local Tibetans and monks gathered to mark her death and other self-immolations over the past week. According to Tibetan sources hundreds of Tibetans attended Chagmo Kyiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cremation, at a site normally used for the cremation of monks and lamas. They were surrounded by troops.
10 November Gonpo Tsering selfimmolates and dies in Tsoe, Kanlho
15 November Tenzin Dolma, selfimmolates and dies in Rebkong. Kharbum Gya, self-immolates and dies in Rebkong
12 November Nyingkar Tashi, and Nyingchag Bum, self-immolate and die in two separate protests in Rebkong
Tenzin Dolma (left), 23, set herself ablaze and died of her injuries. Exile sources are saying that Tibetans from around the region gathered in Tsemo upon hearing news of the self-immolation protest. Teenager Kharbum Gyal set himself on fire in the Tsemo region of Rebkong.
Nyingkar Tashi, 24 set himself on fire in Rebkong. A few hours later, in Dowa town, Rebkong, Nyingchag Bum, 20, self-immolated. Little more is known about the protests due to the severe communication restrictions in place in the region but both protesters are believed to have died from their injuries.
Gonpo Tsering, 19, who was known as one of the brightest students at his school, died after self-immolating in front of a monastery in Tsoe, Kanlho. Gonpo Tsering, who had married last year, called for freedom for Tibetans, the protection of the Tibetan language, and for the Dalai Lama to be brought back to Tibet. According to Tibetan sources in exile, monks gathered at the scene and tried to extinguish the flames but failed. They took his body back to his village and prayed for him there.
2012 7 November Three young teenage monks selfimmolate and die in Ngaba. Tamding Tso self-immolates and dies in Rebkong. Tsegyal self-immolates and dies in Driru, Nagchu, Kham
8 November Kalsang Jinpa, selfimmolates and dies in Rebkong, Amdo.
9 November Thousands of Tibetan school children staged a protest march in Rebkong, Amdo According to Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democrcy, about 5,000 students from different schools in Malho Prefecture and Rebkong County organized a demonstration shouting slogans for ‘equality of nationalities’, ‘free Tibet’, and ‘return of Dalai Lama to Tibet’. The demonstrators walked through the town before assembling at Dolma Square in front of Rongwo Monastery. At the square, they kept on reciting prayers and shouting slogans even as more local Tibetans joined the crowd.
Three young Tibetan monks (L-R), Dorjee,15, Samdup, 16, and Dorjee Kyab, 16, from Ngoshul monastery set themelves on fire in a joint protest in Ngaba. Fifteen year old Dorjee is reported to have died at the scene and that the two others have been taken to a hospital by Chinese security personnel. Sources report that the boys called for Freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama. Tamding Tso, a 23-year-old Tibetan mother, died after setting herself on fire in Rebkong, Amdo. Sources report she called out slogans for the return of the Dalai Lama. drawing several thousand Tibetans to the streets in a protest against Chinese rule. Following her protests it is reported that around 3,000 local Tibetans gathered and shouted slogans calling for freedom for Tibet. Tsegyal, 27, a father of two young children, set himself on fire in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet. He was later detained by local Chinese authorities and it is reported by the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy that he was denied any medical treatment for his burn injuries while in detention, they report “For less than two weeks, from November 7 to 18, Tsegyal received no treatment for his burns while being held at the local police station in Nagchu town.” It is also reported that he died from his injuries while in police custody on 18 November.
Kalsang Jinpa, an 18-year old former monk from a nomad family, set himself on fire while raising a banner carrying slogans calling for the rights of the Tibetan peple and the return of the Dalai Lama. Reports state that shortly after news circulated about his protest thousands of Tibetans, including nomads from the nearby areas, started to gather in front of Rongwo Monastery. Sources also indicate that the situation in the area is particularly tense. In a separate protest, students (aged between 11 and 13) in Dowa Township pulled down the Chinese flag at their school and then went to the local government office where they took down another Chinese flag. It is reported that teachers at the school called the parents and asked for the children to be collected because they could not stop the protest.
26 October Lhamo Tseten self-immolates in Achok, Labrang; 4th immolation in Sangchu County in one week. Thupwang Kyab self-immolates and dies in Sangchu, Amdo
4 November Young Tibetan farmer, Dorjee Lhundrup, selfimmolates and dies in Rebkong Dorjee Lhundrup, 25-year old farmer and father of two, set himself on fire in Rebkong, Amdo.He died immediately afterwards. Reports state that many people gathered where he staged his protest and protected his corpse from Chinese police and troops. He was then taken to the monastery where monks and laypeople prayed for him. He was later cremated in a spot behind the monastery where only high lamas are traditionally cremated. Thousands of Tibetans gathered for his crematon and staged large scale protests against Chinese rule triggering a massive security buildup.
November Chinese authorities banned religious festivals and public gathering. Radio Free Asia reported that â&#x20AC;&#x153;local Chinese officials told Tibetans living in [Kardze] that such large gatherings are forbidden during the time of the Party Congressâ&#x20AC;?. Communication links with Kardze and Kanlno, the scenes of recent self-immolation protests, were cut.
Lhamo Tseten, 24 (left), a Tibetan nomad and father, set himself on fire outside a military base in Amchok township; local sources say he died at the scene. He is survived by his parents, his young wife Tsering, and a two-year old daughter. Lhamo Tsetenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s village of Kad is near to a mountain considered as sacred by local Tibetans. The surrounding area has been subject to heavy monitoring by paramilitary troops because a new airport is being constructed there. Many local Tibetans have expressed strong opposition to the airport, and although construction was temporarily halted in 2010 due to protests, the project resumed with increased military forces present. Thupwang Kyab, 23 (right), set himself on fire on the main street of Sangkok township, Sangchu. Sources from the region reported that he shouted slogans calling for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet and for the release of political prisoners, including the Panchen Lama. He died from his injuries and was later taken from the scene to his house for prayers. Earlier, his name was reported as Tsephak Kyab, age 21, but Tibetan sources later confirmed his correct information.
Within one week in October 2012 five individuals staged self-immolation protests protest in Amdo; two in Labrang and three in Sangchu 17
25 October Tsepo and Tenzin, two young cousins, self-immolate in Driru, Kham Two young cousins, Tsepo, 20, and Tenzin, 25, set fire to themselves in a protest in Nagrog Phampa Village, north of Lhasa. Tsepo died from his injuries on his way to hospital. Tenzin was taken away by authorities and his well being and whereabouts are unknown. Sources state that the cousins shouted slogans for Tibetan independence for, the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and for all Tibetans to unite as brothers and sisters.
20 October Lhamo Kyab selfimmolates and dies in Sangchu county, Amdo
23 October Tibetan farmer Dorjee Rinchen selfimmolates in Labrang, Amdo
22 October Dhondup, man in his 60s, selfimmolates near Labrang Monastery, Amdo
Dorjee Rinchen, 57-year old father of two, set himself on fire in front of Gyugya market in the main street of Labrang, eastern Tibet. It is reported that Dorjee died shortly after his protest. Local Tibetans refused to allow Chinese troops to take the body and took it themselves to home village, Sayi, around two kilometers east of Labrang. Further reports state that Dorjee Rinchen was an appointed village leader who was well respected by local Tibetans.
Dhondup, who was from a farming and nomadic family, set himself on fire beside a temple in Labrang monastery in eastern Tibet. According to reports from exile Tibetans, Dhondup died after his self-immolation and troops took away his body. A Tibetan source in exile told International Campaign for Tibet : â&#x20AC;&#x153;We heard that the flames surrounding the body were so intense. Troops arrived soon afterwards and put the remains in a large bag and took it away. Local monks then tried to hold prayers for Dhondup but police and monastic officials tried to prevent this happening.â&#x20AC;?
Lhamo Kyab, a 27-year old father of two, set himself on fire near Bora monastery in Sangchu county, eastern Tibet. Reports state that he was seen running along the road in flames, and calling for the Dalai Lama to come home to Tibet. The same sources said that police tried to put out the flames, and a local man took off his shirt and tried to fling it over Lhamo Kyab but the blaze was too strong. Lhamo Kyabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body was taken to Bora monastery despite tensions between local Tibetans and Chinese security personnel who attempted to stop the body being removed.
2012 The Sound of a Victorious Drum Beaten by Lives By Gudrub 14 March 2012
13 October Tamdin Dorje, grandfather of a Tibetan reincarnate lama, self-immolates and dies in Amdo Tamdin Dorje, the grandfather of a prominent young Tibetan reincarnate lama at Labrang Tashikyil monastery, died after setting fire to himself near Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery, Tsoe in Kanlho, Amdo. International Campaign for Tibet report that this self-immolation protest is likely to draw concern by the authorities due to the connection to the young lama recognised as the 7th Gungthang Rinpoche, Lobsang Geleg Tenpe Khenchen.
6 October Sangye Gyatso, a father of two, selfimmolates and dies in Tsoe, Kanlho, Amdo Sangay Gyatso, 27, set himself on fire in Tsoe region of Kanlho, Amdo eastern Tibet at around 12 pm (local time). Sangay Gyatso is reported to be a father of two children and is believed to have passed away in his self-immolation protest.
The people of the Land of Snow (a traditional term for Tibet) share a common goal of bringing His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to an independent Tibet. But when His Holiness opted for autonomy for Tibet through nonviolent struggle, the six million Tibetans accepted his wishes. However, the Chinese government has not supported his proposal. Moreover, Tibetans who are concerned about the welfare of the people are subjected to arbitrary arrests and beatings. Tibetans who refuse to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama or accept China’s rule on Tibet are secretly killed or made to disappear. Since China is uninterested in the well being of the Tibetan people, we are sharpening our nonviolent movement. We are declaring the reality of Tibet by burning our own bodies to call for freedom of Tibet. Higher beings, Please see Tibet. Mother earth, Extend compassion to Tibet. Just world, Uphold the truth. The pure land of snow is now tainted with red blood, where military crackdowns are ceaseless. We as sons and daughters of the Land of Snow will win the battle. We will win the battle through truth, by shooting the arrows of our lives, by using the bow of our mind. Dear brothers and sisters of the Land of Snow, please unite together and prioritize the well being of all Tibetans by putting aside personal issues. We can only enjoy equality and freedom then.
4 October Writer Gudrup dies after selfimmolation protest in Nagchu, U‑Tsang Gudrub, 41-year old, shouted slogans calling for Tibetan freedom and for the return of the Dalai Lama as he set himself on fire in Driru county, Nagchu prefecture, Central Tibet. In the article ‘The Sound of a Victorious Drum Beaten by Lives’ published in March 2012, Gudrub (pen-name ‘Youth of the Snowland’) wrote about the continuing crackdown by China in Tibetan areas writing, “Tibetans who are concerned about the welfare of the people are subjected to arbitrary arrests and beatings. Tibetans who refuse to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama or accept China’s rule on Tibet are secretly killed or made to disappear.” He continued to point out that, as a result of China’s policies in Tibet Tibetans “are sharpening our nonviolent movement… declaring the reality of Tibet by burning our own bodies to call for freedom in Tibet.”
29 September Yungdrung self-immolates in Dzatoe, Amdo Yungdrung, 27-years old, called for independence of Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa from exile as he set light to himself in a public protest in Dzatoe, Amdo. Yungdrung was quickly removed from the scene and his current whereabouts and status is unknown. He was taken to a hospital by the authorities and family were later informed that he had died while in transport to another hospital. New, harsh restrictions on the movements of Tibetan residents in Dzatoe were implemented by Chinese authorities following the protest and it is reported that the town had been “filled with Chinese security personnel”.
13 September Passang Lhamo self-immolates in Beijing Reports, emerging four months after the protest, state Passang Lhamo, 63, set herself on fire in Beijing in protest against illegal land grabbing by Chinese authorities in Jyekundo, Kham following the devastating 2010 earthquake. The Central Tibetan Administration report that Passang Lhamo staged her protest after local authorities refused to allow her to retain her ancestral home following the major rebuilding process, and further “repeated appeals to the central authorities in Beijing failed to yield any concrete results.” It is understood she was taken to hospital where she was treated for severe burns. Her current status and whereabouts are unknown.
27 August Two teenagers, Lobsang Kalsang and Damchoe, self-immolate in Ngaba Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a monk at Kirti monastery and Damchoe, 17, a former monk from Kirti self-immolated on 27 August 2012 outside the monastery in Ngaba Town. According to eye witnesses, they took about 20 steps near the east gate of the monastery, shouting slogans and then fell. Chinese security personnel put out the flames and took them to local hospital initially and later to Barkham hospital where they both died. Lobsang Kalsang’s room-mate at Kirti monastery was detained that same afternoon. Damchoe was the brother of nun Tenzin Choedron who selfimmolated and died in February 2012.
2012 14 August Mass protests against police brutality in Rebkong Crowds of Tibetans gathered in Rebkong, Amdo to protest about brutality by local police after four Tibetans were beaten up. Carrying banners in Tibetan and Chinese reading “Rebkong county police brutal beatings of Tibetan people”, hundreds gathered at the police station the day after four Tibetans in a car had been arbitrarily stopped by police and beaten, one seriously injured. Some sources claimed the police officers had been drunk. View footage of the protest released by Radio Free Asia here.
15 August Nyima, a Tibetan man, shot dead in a mining protest
13 August Protests brutally suppressed as Tashi and Lungtok self-immolate near Kirti Monastery in Ngaba A layman called Tashi, around 21, and Lungtok, around 20, a monk from Kirti Monastery set themselves on fire near Kirti Monastery in Ngaba. They were apprehended by People’s Armed Police as they walked into the town and taken away. Sources say that Lungtok died later the same day and Tashi died on 14 August. Immediately after the self-immolations local Tibetans staged a protest. More police were quickly deployed and eye-witnesses described how security personnel started beating protesters with “iron rods” and “spiked batons”. A number of Tibetans were injured and taken to hospital, including one who was very severely beaten and whose condition is not known; Radio Free Asia reported that he had died. Tashi is believed to be a former monk from Kirti monastery, who left in 2011 for unknown reasons. Exiled Kirti monks reported that monastic leaders in Ngaba have been called in for questioning on a number of occasions.
Chinese security forces used tear gas and live rounds to disperse a crowd of 1,000 Tibetans protesting in Choeten town against the resumption of mining operations in Markham county, sources told Radio Free Asia. A Tibetan man named Nyima was reportedly shot dead and six others were detained. Residents had successfully protested against the mining operation earlier in 2012, but the company recently announced that the project would still go ahead.
12 August Warnings and show of force by armed police at Machu horse-racing festival The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy has reported that hundreds of People’s Armed Police were deployed at the annual horseracing festival in Machu county this year. This unprecedented presence of armed security personnel was accompanied by a public notice barring anyone from carrying ‘flammable’ or ‘poisonous’ objects and engaging in protest activities at the event.
8 August Protests, prayers, and detentions linked to Dolkar Tso’s selfimmolation 10 August Young nomad Choepa shouts slogans and self-immolates in Meruma Township, Ngaba District A 24-year old Tibetan nomad named Choepa self-immolated in Meruma Township, around 20km from Ngaba Town, at around 10.15 local time. Eye-witnesses said he was shouting slogans and engulfed in huge flames; they expressed doubts that he could survive after armed police swiftly extinguished the fire and took him away. It is reported that Choepa died later that night. Tensions are said to be high in the area with an increase in military presence. Choepa had been a leader of a candlelight march in Meruma township on 23 January 2012, after which he had been forced to go into hiding to avoid arrest.
7 August Young mother Dolkar Tso self-immolates and dies in Kanlho, eastern Tibet
Chinese security forces detained three monks from Tsoe monastery on the night of 7 August, on suspicion of sheltering Dolkar Tso (see below). A source told RFA that police returned at dawn on 8 August and tried to detain 17 other monks suspected of bringing Dolkar Tso into the monastery. Monks and local residents ‘mobbed’ the police to demand the release of those detained. Meanwhile, around 300 monks left the nearby monastery of Labrang Tashikyil to say prayers and offer condolences at Dolkar Tso’s family home, but were stopped by Chinese officials, the same source said. After a stand-off the monks sat down near the monastery and began to pray. “More monks have now begun to gather to join them in their prayers,” the source said.
26-year old Dolkar Tso from Kanlho Prefecture (Ch: Gannan in Gansu Province) selfimmolated and died at Tsoe Gaden Choeling Monastery. She was reportedly heard shouting slogans calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. Monks extinguished the flames and took her to hospital but were unable to save her. Her body was later taken to her village, around 10km from Tsoe City. She leaves a four-year old son and two year-old daughter.
6 August Kirti monk Lobsang Tsultrim selfimmolates in Ngaba and is taken away Lobsang Tsultrim, a 21-year old monk from Kirti Monastery, set light to himself near his monastery in Ngaba. Eye-witnesses said he shouted “Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to Tibet!”, “Let Kirti Rinpoche return to Tibet!”, “Let the Kirti monastery school be reopened!” He was quickly surrounded by police who put out the flames and removed him to Ngaba District Hospital and later to Barkham Hospital where he died at around midnight. Government officials cremated his body, and handed over some ashes to his family members. Lobsang is said to have been a classmate of Phuntsok who self-immolated in March 2011, and had suffered beatings during the 2008 Uprisings.
2012 Lobsang Lozin, 18, a Tibetan monk at Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery, Ngaba has been described as “one best students in his class” with “very good moral and ethic reasonability”
1 August Monk protester Konchog Yarphel beaten and detained in Serthar County Konchog Yarphel, 22, a monk at Talung monastery in Serthar county, Kardze Prefecture, shouted slogans and distributed leaflets, signed in his own name, calling for freedom and independence for Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama. A source told Radio Free Asia that the monk began his protest in a public park and struggled when security forces arrived to detain him. The source commented that 1 August is the anniversary of the founding of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Late July Lone protester Ngawang detained in Chamdo region A young Tibetan man named Ngawang staged a solitary public protest in Gonjo county, Chamdo prefecture during the visit of a Chinese official to the region. According to Radio Free Asia Ngawang ran to to the main street of the town on 24 or 25 July, carrying the Tibetan flag and shouting “Long live the Dalai Lama, and “Freedom for Tibet”. He also called on local Tibetans not to fight each other over pasture land, and urged them to join his protest. He was quickly detained.
17 July 18 year-old Tibetan monk Lobsang Lozin selfimmolates and dies in Barkham County, Ngaba Lobsang Lozin, 18, set himself on fire in front of Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery, Barkham County, Ngaba Prefecture. According to the eyewitness reports Lobsang Lozin started the fire outside the monastery and proceeded to walk towards the town centre shouting slogans. It is believed that he died at the scene and that his body was carried by monks back to the monastery. Locals have reported that a large number of military troops have been deployed to the area and that local people have attempted to stop them entering the town by blocking the bridge. Between 12 and 16 August 2012 five young monks were detained during night-time raids at Tsodun Monastery. A source told the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy that the detentions were linked to the self-immolations by Tenpa Dhargyal, Chime Palden and Lobsang Lozin.
7 July Young Tibetan nomad Tsewang Dorjee selfimmolates outside Lhasa Tsewang Dorjee, 22, selfimmolated in Damshung County, Lhasa Prefecture, Central Tibet. It is reported that security personnel put out the flames and took the young man to the county hospital, but that he died the same night. Response to the incident by Chinese authorities has been severe and a heavy security crackdown in the area is reported with a large number of witnesses to the incident being detained without charge.
2012 20 June Two young Tibetan men, Ngawang Norphel and Tenzin Khedup, selfimmolate in Dzatoe town, Jyekundo
27 June Tibetan woman and mother of two, Dickyi Choezom, self-immolates in Jyekundo, Amdo during land confiscation protest Dickyi Choezom, a Tibetan woman and mother of two in her 40s, set herself alight during a protest involving about 70 local families against land confiscations by the Chinese state. Her whereabouts and well being are unknown. It is reported that two of Dickyi Choezom’s relatives taking part in the peaceful protest were singled out, beaten and detained by Chinese security forces while she was still in flames. The two were released later the same day, suffering from injuries inflicted during their arrest and detention.
Ngawang Norphel, 22, and Tenzin Khedup, 24, carried Tibetan national flags and shouted proindependence slogans and called for the return of the Dalai Lama as they set fire to themselves in protest against Beijing’s rule of Tibet. Tenzin Khedup, a former monk at Zilkar Monastery, died from his injuries at the scene. Ngawang Norphel sustained serious injuries and eventually died on 30 July. Sources state that his family, who live in the Shigatse region of Central Tibet are under investigation. Before their protest they wrote a joint letter saying they were unable to make a significant contribution to fellow Tibetans based on the conditions prevailing under Chinese rule. Graphic footage of the protest was received by Tibet groups in exile and can be viewed HERE This video footage contains graphic and disturbing images.
24 June Tibetan teenage girl Jigme Dolma beaten and detained after solitary protest Jigme Dolma, age 17, walked into the centre of Kardze, threw leaflets in the air and called for freedom in Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama, and the release of Tibetan political prisoners. She was quickly detained by local police who were reported to have been beating her when she was taken away.
15 June A forcibly resettled Tibetan nomad named Tamding Thar selfimmolates in Chentsa, Malho, Amdo, and dies from his injuries Tamding Thar, from a Tibetan nomadic family set himself on fire in front of the county’s People’s Armed Police camp in Chentsa County. Within a few minutes of his protest a large number of security personnel appeared at the site, extinguished the flames and took him away. Shortly after, hundreds of local Tibetans gathered in front of the army camp demanding his body be handed over. His body was returned and locals carried him to a nomadic area in Chentsa County. Tamding Thar was part of a Tibetan nomadic family that had been moved to the county recently as part of China’s forced resettlement policies.
27 May Two young Tibetan men, Dorjee Tseten and Dargye, selfimmolate in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city
30 May A Tibetan mother of three, Rikyo, self-immolates in Dzamthang, Ngaba. 5 June Tibetan monk Karma Rabten in Chamdo stages solitary proTibet protest A Tibetan monk, Karma Rabten from Chamdo Rata monastery, protested in front of the Chamdo government offices and walked to a nearby square, shouting pro-Tibet slogans. He was immediately detained and taken away by Chinese police. His whereabouts and well being are unknown.
Dorjee Tseten, 19, and Dargye, 25, two young Tibetan men, set fire to themselves on 27 May outside one of Tibet’s holiest shrines, the Jokhang Temple, in the first self- immolation in Lhasa. Dorjee Tseten (pictured above left) was from Ngaba and Dargye (right) from Labrang. Dorjee Tseten died at the scene; Dargye’s well being is unknown. Following the twin immolation a severe security crackdown is underway in Lhasa with hundreds of residents and pilgrims rounded up and detained.
Rikyo, a 33 year-old mother of three from a nomadic family, set herself on fire near to Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen Monastery in Dzamthang and died at the scene. Following her selfimmolation protest her body was taken to the Monastery. Reports from contacts in the area state that Chinese government officials came to the monastery and sought to impose an immediate cremation otherwise the body would be taken away. Rikyo was cremated the same day, and a large number of Tibetans converged at a special cremation prayer service near the monastery. Rikyo’s self-immolation protest is the third to have taken place in Dzamthang (see 19 April). Three months after her self-immolation, a letter attributed to Rikyo was published by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, in which it is reported she wrote; “Prayers for world peace and happiness! To ensure His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet, do not indulge in slaughtering and trading of animals, do not steal, Speak Tibetan, do not fight, Bearing all sufferings of the sentient beings on myself, Do not resist by fighting if I get into Chinese hands alive, Be united, Study Tibetan culture, On fire I burn, do not worry my family.”
May Tibetan farmers in Ngaba stage fallow field boycott in protest of Chinese rule Farmers across eight villages in Ngaba have vowed not to cultivate their fields in a gesture of respect for Tibetans who have self-immolated in protests against Chinese rule. The move echoes a 2009 boycott in neighboring Kardze prefecture, in which Tibetan farmers refused to cultivate their land following a week of other protests and detentions.
Khedrub Dorje, right, was reported missing after being detained by police over a protest in Kardze town on 7 March 2012.
26 April More than a dozen Tibetans receive harsh sentences for peaceful protests Sonam Lhundrup was given a life sentence for participating in peaceful protests in Draggo, Kardze in January 2012, during which at least five protesters were killed by Chinese police who opened fire on the crowd. A further 15 Tibetans who were involved in the January protest were sentenced to jail terms between two and 15 years.
2012 22 April Re-education campaign against Dalai Lama launched at school in Markham Chinese authorities launched a re-education campaign at Markham Middle School after a Tibetan student wrote â&#x20AC;&#x153;Long Live the Dalai Lamaâ&#x20AC;? on her class blackboard. A further dozen Tibetans in the area were detained for having mobile phones containing photos of, or songs about, Tibetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
25 April Thousands of Tibetans protest raids on monastery in Dzongchen, Kardze About 3,000 to 4,000 Tibetans, led by monks, staged a protest outside the local police station and government centre. The protesters condemned the large scale security crackdown on Dzogchen Monastery; a series of intense security raids took place over the course of a number of days during which monks were severely beaten, interrogated, and taken away. Police searches were also conducted on Tibetan homes around the monastery.
17 April Tibetan villagers attacked for protesting About 100 Tibetans from Andu village in Upper Ngaba were injured after taking part in a protest against local officials. The protesters, who were voicing their disapproval of the appropriation of local funds directly to a group of officials, were quickly surrounded by truckloads of armed police who attacked the crowd. At least 15 villagers were detained.
19 April Two Tibetan cousins, Choepak Kyapa and Sonam, self-immolate in Dzamthang, Ngaba Choepak Kyap and Sonam, both in their 20s and from herder families, set light to themselves close to a local government office near Jonang Dzamthang Gonchen monastery in the Tibetan area of Dzamthang. It is reported that paramilitary troops were deployed immediately to the scene but local people managed to prevent the authorities from taking away their bodies.
15 April Over 2,000 Tibetans gather to protest the detention of 250 Tibetans Thousands of Tibetans took to the streets of Kardze in protest against the detention of at least 250 Tibetans the previous day. A large proportion of the detained Tibetans were later released but about 33 remain in detention. In a separate incident at least 15 young Tibetans were detained in Dzatoe by Chinese security forces who staged hundreds of house to house raids looking for Tibetans suspected of putting up posters and distributing leaflets calling for Tibetan independence.
6 April Thubten Nyandak and niece, Ani Atse, confirmed to have selfimmolated, TawuReligious figure Thubten Nyandak, 45, and his niece, Atse, a nun, 23, died in a fire at their residence in a monastery in Tawu county, Kardze. For some time it was unclear whether they had intentionally self-immolated, while a monastery administrator told Radio Free Asia that the fire was accidental; Nyandak had said he would light many butter lamps for all those who have selfimmolated for the cause of Tibet. On 27 March 2013, almost one year later, further information confirmed that the deaths of Thubten Nyandak and Ani Atse were self-immolation protests for the Tibetan cause. Nyandak is reported to have told his family on phone: “Today I am ending my life with ease by offering butter lamps for all those Tibetans who have set themselves on fire for the cause of Tibet”. Immediately after making the call, he and his niece set themselves on fire. Dzogchen Monastery officials feared a take-over of the monastic compound by police, so they attributed the deaths to an accident to avoid drawing more military attention and control.
30 March Two Tibetan monks, Tenpa Dhargyal and Chime Palden, self-immolate in Barkham County, Ngaba Tenpa Dhargyal, 22, and Chime Palden, 21, both monks from Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery, set themselves on fire while shouting slogans against the China’s rule in Tibet. Sources report that they were alive when they were taken to the hospital by security officers. Some monks of Tsodun Kirti Monastery rushed to the scene of the self-immolation in three vehicles, but they were stopped on route by police who made them to return to their monastery. Tenpa Dhargyal Chime Palden both studied previously at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba. Chime Palden died after the protest. Tenpa Dhargyal died in hospital a week after his protest. He was cremated by Chinese authorities who refused to hand over his body to monks to perform traditional Tibetan burial rites.
28 March Sherab, 20 year-old monk, self-immolates in Ngaba Lobsang Sherab, a young Tibetan monk from Ganden Tenpeling Monastery, set himself on fire in Cha Township, Ngaba; he died at the scene. It is reported that he raised slogans in protest against China’s rule in Tibet. Despite appeals from local Tibetans to have his body handed over to his family, Chinese security office and armed police stating in the area took him away. The whereabouts of his body is unknown.
26 March Tibetans in Dzatoe Town, Yulshul, Amdo, beaten and detained Tibetans suspected of organising peaceful protests against Chinese rule were rounded up, beaten and later detained . Further reports state that potential protesters were warned they could be shot if they did not comply to Chinese authorities’ restrictions. Other local villages and towns also reported similar incidents involving suspected protesters being beaten and enduring interrogations sessions.
20 March Peaceful protest by monks from Bora monastery Following a protest by over 100 monks from Bora monastery, carrying Tibetan flags and photos of the Dalai Lama, and calling for religious freedom and human rights in front of the local government offices, police raided the monastery on 21 March and detained 40 monks. Though remaining under lockdown in the monastery, the remaining monks gathered to protest the detentions. Local officials eventually relented, releasing all 40 of the monks by early afternoon.
17 March Sonam Dargye self-immolates in Rebkong; Thousands gather to mourn his death
18 March Monks distribute leaflets and plan a peaceful protest attended by hundreds of lay-people in Sogpo, Rebkong
Sonam Dargye, 43 year-old farmer and father of three children, set himself on fire in Tongpo town, Rebkong; he died at the scene. As news spread about Sonam’s immolation thousands of monks, nuns and lay-people gathered to mourn his death. Despite a heavy presence, Chinese security forces were unable to stop the flood of people attending the gathering for Sonam Dargye’s cremation. After the cremation people started calling for Freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama and marched from the cremation site to Rongwo town centre.
Monks from Tsang monastery distributed leaflets promoting a planned protest and outlining five clear requests including Freedom for Tibet, and stating that China and the United Nations were accountable for the life of Shingza Rinpoche, one of three Tibetan hunger strikers outside the UN in New York . The leaflets also publicised the planned protest and made a point of saying that their actions were organized only by them, and not planned or influenced by those abroad – a reference to the Chinese authorities’ claim that demonstrations and self-immolations in Tibet are master-minded by the “Dalai clique” in exile. Monks later traveled to Sogpo town and began to march and chant their demands . Hundreds of people joined the march and the protest carried on for some hours. The initial contingent of monks were later detained and, upon hearing this news, more than 200 monks from Tsang monastery traveled to Sogpo to call for their release. After discussions, the monks were released and all of the Tsang monks were transported back to their monastery. A senior official later visited Tsang monastery and talked to the monks about their grievances. After the incident Tsang monastery came under intense scrutiny by Chinese security forces mobilised to the area.
16 March Lobsang Tsultrim, 20 year-old monk, self-immolates in Ngaba; Thousands of protesters demand the release of Tibetan monks Lobsang Tsultrim set himself on fire in Ngaba; after lighting the flame he is said to have walked and shouted protest slogans and raised his fist into the air. Chinese police are believed to have knocked him down and beaten him. He was taken away by police and later died on 19 March. Lobsang was the cousin of Norbu Dramdul, who self-immolated in October 2011. More than 1,000 Tibetans protested in Gepa Sumdo, Tsolho Prefecture calling for the release of the 50 monks who had been held for protesting a day earlier. The protesters marched on the county building and demanded that all the monks detained should be released. An eye witness said “They persisted in the peaceful protests and the county government building was surrounded by police and paramilitary forces.”
2012 14 March Jamyang Palden self-immolates in Rebkong county, Amdo; Hundreds of monks from Rongwo Monastery stage protest
15 March Monks raise Tibetan flag and protest banners in Gepa Sumdo, Amdo About 150 to 200 monks from Ba Shangtre Monastery raised the Tibetan flag and banners calling for Freedom in Tibet, and later marched through the streets of Gepa Sumdo, Tsolho, Amdo. On the same day 40 Chinese vehicles arrived with police and paramilitary forces who surrounded the monastery. The monks’ rooms were searched and about 60 monks were detained and taken to the county detention centre – 10 were later released and 50 remain in detention.
Jamyang Palden, a 34 year-old monk from Rongwo Monastery, set himself alight in the grounds of the monastery. He is initially believed to have survived and to have been cared for inside the monastery after having been taken to the local hospital, but on 1 October a report emerged saying that he had succumbed to his injuries six months later, on 29 September. His self-immolation sparked a protest in the town square when around 500 monks gathered and were soon joined by locals from the area.
14 March Tibetan students in Rebkong, Amdo, stage a large scale protest calling for “Freedom in Tibet” Hundreds of students from Kangtsa School of Nationalities marched on local government offices calling for freedom for Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama, and the freedom to use their own language in school. The peaceful protests were halted by Chinese police and armed paramilitary police who detained and assaulted the protesters. It is reported that at least three students were sentenced to jail, five have been expelled from the school, and seven or eight are still being held for investigation. Yudrung Gyaltsen, the head of the school, was dismissed on suspicion of involvement in the student protests.
10 March Gyepe, 18 years-old, self-immolates on 53rd Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising At around 5pm on Saturday 10 March, young Kirti monk Gyepe set himself alight behind a Chinese military camp in Ngaba town; he died at the scene. Local people requested that his body be handed over for traditional Tibetan rites of passage but this was refused by Chinese army personnel. On 11 March five of Gyepe’s family were allowed to attend a cremation. Monks at Lhamo Dechen Monastery in Chentsa, Malho, Amdo held a peaceful religious Uprising commemoration between 8-10 March. Reports state that monks created butter sculptures (a traditional form of offering) of the Dalai Lama and also of the Tibetan ‘snow lion’ flag, which is banned in Tibet. On 10 March at least 50 monks gathered in front of the monastery to burn incense; during the gathering they called for the return of the Dalai Lama and for freedom. The monastery is now believed to be under lock-down.
Protesters gather in front of the Gepa Sumdo county government office, 15 March 2012. See Radio Free Asia 29
4 March Rinchen, 32 year-old mother of four, self-immolates in Ngaba, Amdo; Protest leaflets scattered in Sog County, Central Tibet; Students in Rebkong protest about Chinese textbooks 7 March Khedrub Dorje stages public protest in Kardze and is severely beaten and detained Khedrub Dorje, 38 year-old monk from Dza Samdrub monastery, staged a public protest outside a busy restaurant in Kardze. It is reported that he shouted slogans in the street and was quickly detained and severely beaten by Chinese police at the scene. His whereabouts and well-being are unknown.
6 March Three Tibetans, Choeri, Jamphal Lobdu, and Karkho, are shot by Chinese forces – one killed Three young Tibetans were shot – one of them killed – by Chinese security forces in Tagkhar Township, Pema County, Golog. Choeri, 28 years-old, was killed and two brothers, Jamphal Lobdu and Karkho were both wounded. It is believed that the three men had gone to the local police station to object to the arrest of a Tibetan man called Thubwang who had been arrested earlier in connection to a protest on 25 January (see date for more details).
5 March Dorjee, 18 years-old, self-immolates near Chara Township, Ngaba County Dorjee, aged 18, set fire to himself near Chara Township, Ngaba County. Eyewitness reports state he set himself on fire near a bridge outside the township and then walk in flames to a government office building where he collapsed. Dorjee’s current status is unknown
Rinchen, a mother of four children who was widowed in 2011, set fire to herself outside the police surveillance station that has been set up by the main gate into Kirti Monastery; she died at the scene. During her protest she raised slogans demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Immediately after the incident local people took Rinchen’s body into Kirti Monastery. Leaflets calling for Tibetan independence and the return of the Dalai Lama were found scattered in Sog Dzong, Central Tibet. A similar incident in December 2011 led to the disappearance of one monk and the detention of two others. It is reported that Chinese security officers took the fingerprints of the monastery’s younger monks and a 19-year old monk, Kalsang Tsultrim, has been detained by Chinese security forces on suspicion of displaying the leaflets; his whereabouts and well-being are not known. Two other monks from the monastery – Choeying Jampa and Choeying Loga – were detained and questioned for 10 days. Up to 700 Tibetan students took part in a protest after they discovered that their new textbooks were in the Chinese language. Previously school textbooks on politics, history, geography, biology, chemistry, physics and maths had been written in Tibetan. The students protested by ripping up the books and attempting to march into the town to call for Tibetan language rights. The march was halted by their teachers and headmasters who were fearful of the consequences for both the school and the students.
3 March Tsering Kyi, 20 year-old student, self‑immolates in Machu County
22 February Tibetans mark Losar in mourning
Tsering Kyi, a young student from Machu County Tibetan Middle School, set herself on fire in Nyima Town, Machu County and died at the scene. Eyewitness reports state that, while in flames, she raised her hand above her head in a fist several times. It is also reported that Tsering Kyi had spoken about her serious concern for the situation in Tibet stating, “We should do something for Tibet – life is meaningless if we don’t do anything for Tibet.” The police arrived at the scene shortly after the incident and closed off the immediate area with people unable to leave for some hours. Her body was removed by Chinese police and taken to the local police station. Students at Machu County Middle School are now being closely monitored and have not been allowed to leave nor their parents permitted access to the school.
Many Tibetans marked Losar (Tibetan New Year) by mourning those who had self-immolated since February 2009, and others killed in unrest. There are a number of reports of street protests and public leafleting on the first day of Losar (22 February) including a demonstration in Kardze by about 60 Tibetans who openly protested Chinese rule, displaying the banned Tibetan national flag and a banner bearing the names of Tibetans who had self-immolated.
19 February Nangdrol, 18 year-old monk, self-immolates in Dzamthang, Ngaba
17 February Dhamchoe Sangpo, 38 year-old monk, self-immolates in Themchen, Amdo
Nangdrol, a young layman (initially believed to be a monk from Samdrup Norbu Ling Monastery), set fire to himself in Dzamthang, Ngaba and died at the scene. Nangdrol is reported to have shouted slogans before he died including “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live 10,000 years!” and “Freedom for Tibet!”. Following his death, Chinese police authorities attempted to remove his body, but monks from the monastery refused to hand him over and reports have been received of many hundreds of Tibetans gathering in Dzamthang to keep watch over his body.
Dhamchoe Sangpo set light to himself near the grounds of his monastery, Bongthak Ewam Tare Shedrup Dhargey Ling. It is reported that he died shortly after the immolation. Dhamchoe was a teacher at the monastic school and a member of the Democratic Managment Committee; a government controlled body used to control the monasteries. Security at the monastery was tightened in January 2012 after protests against a patriotic re-education programme had been staged. In July 2012 Chinese authorities sentenced the director of Bongtak monastery, Venerable Jamseme, and two other monks to between nine and 11 years in prison for “instigating” the selfimmolation.
2012 13 February Lobsang Gyatso, 19, Kirti monk, selfimmolates in Ngaba Lobsang Gyatso set light to himself at around 2pm in Ngaba town, shouting slogans. He was immediately surrounded, the flames extinguished and removed from the scene. Two other youths near the scene were reportedly beaten; one escaped but the other was taken away. Lobsang Gyatso’s current whereabouts and condition are not known.
11 February Teenage nun Tenzin Choedron selfimmolates near Ngaba Tenzin Choedron, an 18-year old nun from Dechen Chokorling nunnery, set light to herself at 6pm while shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government. Sources reported that soldiers and police came immediately and took her away. Xinhua later confirmed that she had died. The nunnery was surrounded by soldiers and sealed off; nothing more is known of the situation inside. Tenzin Choedron was from the same nunnery as Tenzin Wangmo, who self-immolated and died in October 2011.
15 February Monks from Sekha monastery forced to undergo re-education; Four taken away Reports state that up to 25 monks from Serkha monastery have been segregated by Chinese authorities in connection to a peaceful protest march by about 1,400 monks and lay people on 8 February 2012. A Tibetan source told Radio Free Asia that the monks were being “detained in a school building near the monastery and being forced to undergo rigorous political re-education campaigns”. It is also believed that four monks out of the 25 have been further singled out and taken away; it is not clear whether they have been formally arrested, or on what charges.
9 February Sonam Rabyang self-immolates in Yushul Sonam Rabyang, 42-year old Tibetan monk, set fire to himself in Triwang, the town of Tridu County in protest against the Chinese government. In February 2013 news emerged that Sonam Rabyang had survived his protest but had both of his legs amputated. Tibetan Centre for Human Rights & Democracy report that Sonam Rabyang is being cared for by his family members under strict surveillance by the local Chinese authorities.
8 February Former monk Rinzin Dorjee self-immolates; Thousands of Tibetans protest in two separate demonstrations Rinzin Dorjee (also known as Rikpe), 19, a former monk from Kirti Monastery, set fire to himself in Ngaba town. It is reported that shortly after the incident, security personnel arrived, doused the flames, and took Rikpe to the Ngaba County hospital and then later to a hospital in Barkham. He died on 21 February. At least 2,000 Tibetans in two different areas of Yushul Prefecture took part in protests despite the intense security crackdown. In a video released by VOA’s Tibetan service, hundreds of people can be seen lining a road in the town, chanting prayers and burning incense. According to reports Chinese security forces attempted but failed to stop demonstrations in Nangchen county and Tridu county. Peaceful protesters shouted slogans and carried banners calling for a “free Tibet,” the release of all Tibetan political prisoners, and the return of Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. In a separate protest, nearly 1,400 Tibetans peacefully demonstrated in Tridu county, Yulshul. The demonstrators were initially made up of a group of 400 monks from Sekhar monastery attempting a “solidarity” march to Gatoe township. The monks joined by approximately 1,000 local lay people after Chinese security personnel were deployed to the area and halted the procession.
[our] demands are met, there is no chance that the protests in Tibet “Until will stop. You, communist Chinese, come and arrest me. ”
Text from the leaflet distributed by Tharpa on 26 January, after which his friend Ogyen was latershot dead.
26 January Fatal shooting in Ngaba as police fire into crowd; Protest in Wagri, Pema County
Chinese police fired into a crowd killing a 20 year-old student called Ogyen. The crowd were protesting the arrest of a local Tibetan, named Tharpa, who was detained for displaying posters stating that the self-immolation protests were calls for Tibetan freedom and that the selfimmolations would continue until authorities met these demands. In a separate protest in Pema County, a group of Tibetans grouped together and displayed portraits of the Dalai Lama in the street. During the protests the crowd burned the Chinese flag. It is reported that six people were arrested, five of whom remain unaccounted for; one was later released and reported to have been tortured with bad bruising to his body.
23 & 24 January Tibetan demonstrators shot dead in Drango and Serthar
25 January Solo protest in Lhasa by Namkha Gyaltsen; Chinese flag pulled down in Pema County
Chinese security forces opened fire on unarmed Tibetan demonstrators in Drango and Serthar; at least three Tibetans were killed, including Yonten (Drango) and 49 year old Dawa Dragpa (Serthar), and many more injured. Daily peaceful protests continued in Ngaba prompted by the response of Chinese forces to Lobsang Jamyang’s selfimmolation and beating on 14 January.
Namkha Gyaltsen, aged 25 from Golog, was arrested near the Barkhor for distributing leaflets that contained slogans for the swift return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibet. Approximately 100 local people marched to the local government offices in Tagkhar Township, Pema County and pulled down a Chinese flag. After the protest, some of those involved were arrested and some went into hiding to avoid arrest. The government announced a reward of 10,000 – 20,000 yuan for information about the whereabouts of a protester called Thubwang, who they believed to be a leader of the protest.
NOTE: According to Chinese media, two further Tibetans from Drango were shot dead on 9 February in an incident in which a Tibetan police officer was killed.
On 2 April Geshe Tenzin Pelsang, Tibetan monk and high-ranking official at Draggo Monastery, was detained by Chinese police officers on suspicion that he was the main organiser of protests. His whereabouts and condition remain unknown. According to TCHRD Logya, 33, from Meruma township was sentenced to four years in prison for carrying a portrait of the Dalai Lama and leading a protest march in Ngaba on 23 January. Another Tibetan, Tsering Dugkar, was sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly sheltering Logya.
18 & 19 January Peaceful protest in Pema About 200 Tibetans including monks and laypeople gathered in Pema to protest against Chinese rule. They carried pictures of the Dalai Lama and shouted slogans. Later on the same day leaflets warning that more Tibetans were prepared to set fire to themselves were posted and scattered in the town. The following day Chinese security forces surrounded the monasteries and many of the protesters fled for fear of being detained. It is not clear how many have been detained.
At the funeral of Dawa Dragpa, local Tibetans and monks displayed his photo with text that reads “Tibetan hero from Serthar, Dawa Dragpa, who died on Jan. 24. May he be blessed”. 33
14 January Lobsang Jamyang self-immolates in Ngaba; Chinese police open fire Lobsang Jamyang, a lay Tibetan, set light to himself and later died in Ngaba. It is reported that while Chinese Police extinguished the flames they violently beat Lobsang and then removed his body. Tibetan eye witnesses became distressed and a spontaneous protest took place in which a large crowd tried to retrieve the dying man. More police arrived and used tear gas and opened fire on the crowd. At least two people were shot and others were beaten.
8 January Lama Sopa distributes leaflets and records an audio message before self-immolating in Darlag
6 January 2012 Two Tibetans, Tsultrim and Tennyi, self-immolate in Ngaba
Lama Sopa, a highly respected monk from Golog, self-immolated and died at the scene. Before he set himself ablaze he distributed leaflets in which he wrote that he believed “Tibetans should not lose their determination. The day of happiness will come for sure. The Dalai Lama will live long and Tibetans should not lose track of their path”. In an audio recording, made before his protest, Lama Sopa urged Tibetans to “unite and work together to build a strong and prosperous Tibetan nation”. His message, which surfaced after his death, called on Tibetans in Tibet and in exile to be strong and to preserve Tibetan culture and language. Lama Sopa, a well respected leader in the local community, founded an orphanage and a retirement home for about 100 elderly Tibetans. Locals described his death as being a “great loss for Tibet”. After his death Chinese authorities at first refused to hand over Lama Sopa’s body to his relatives. In protest hundreds of Tibetans forced the Chinese authorities to return his body so traditional rites of passage could take place. Thousands of Tibetans later gathered, defying the intense security clampdown to honour the respected religious leader. In his audio message he says: “This is the twenty-first century, and this is the year in which so many Tibetan heroes have died. I am sacrificing my body both to stand in solidarity with them in flesh and blood, and to seek repentance through this highest tantric honour of offering one’s body. This is not to seek personal fame or glory... I am taking this action neither for myself nor to fulfill a personal desire nor to earn an honour... To all my spiritual brothers and sisters, and the faithful ones living elsewhere: You must unite and work together to build a strong and prosperous Tibetan nation in the future. This is the sole wish of all the Tibetan heroes.” Read the full transcript here.
Tsultrim and Tennyi, both around 20 years of age, self-immolated. The protest took place in the courtyard of a hotel in the centre of Ngaba town. After they set themselves on fire they are said to have run into the street shouting slogans for the return of the Dalai Lama. Tennyi, who is believed to be a monk from Kirti monastery, died on 6 January and Tsultrim, a lay person, died on 7 January.
1 December Tenzin Phuntsog selfimmolates in Chamdo Tenzin Phuntsog, a former monk, set himself on fire in Chamdo, Central Tibet. He was hospitalized with serious injuries but died on 6 December.
Her ultimate act of nonviolent protest galvanised the entire community to openly and publicly offer their respects and solidarity in spite of China’s military clampdown in the region.
A Tibetan attending the funeral of Palden Choetso.
3 November Palden Choetso selfimmolates in Tawu 21 November Senior monks detained Lobsang Gyatso, 42, and Losang Gendun, 48, two senior monks from Kirti monastery were arrested. Their current whereabouts and wellbeing are uncertain.
Palden Choetso, a 35 year-old Tibetan nun from Ganden Jangchup Choeling Nunnery, set fire to herself and died. Dramatic footage of Palden’s self-immolation and her funeral, which was attended by thousands of Tibetans, was smuggled out of Tibet. The footage shows her standing upright with her entire body engulfed in flames as she shouts “Tibetans will reunite soon” and calls for basic human rights in Tibet. Her body was taken by local Tibetans to the nearby monastery. Nuns from Palden Choetso’s nunnery led a protest calling for Tibet’s freedom and thousands of Tibetans took part in a candle light vigil before her funeral. Footage of these extraordinary events can be viewed at http://bcove.me/jd863m0z (Warning: graphic footage).
Between 3 & 25 October Six Tibetans selfimmolate in five separate instances Six Tibetans (four monks, one former monk and one nun) self immolated; five in Ngaba and one in Kardze. In five separate incidents Kalsang Wangchuk (17), Khaying (18) and Choephel (19), Norbu Dramdul (19), Tenzin Wangmo (20), and Dawa Tsering (38) set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. All are reported to have called for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. Four of them died at the scene or shortly after their protest. The whereabouts and well-being of Kalsang Wangchuk remain unknown, while Dawa Tsering is believed to be receiving treatment from monks at his monastery in Kardze. On 18 June 2012 senior monk Yonten Gyatso was given a seven year prison sentence for sending information out of Tibet since 2008, including ‘sharing pictures of nun Tenzin Wangmo and information related to her selfimmolation protest with outsiders.
2011 A banner depicting the Dalai Lama is unfurled in Serthar, 1 October 2011
August Three monks sentenced for “intentional homocide”
1 October Tibetans in Serthar unfurl a large Dalai Lama banner A banner with a photo of the Dalai Lama and the banned Tibetan national flag was unfurled, while around 100 or more Tibetans began to gather in the main square as leaflets were distributed, which read: “Tibetans should not fall asleep under Communist rule. Stand up for the freedom of religion, language, and identity. We do not have fundamental human rights, the freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the freedom to use our language, or freedom of the press. We should fight for those freedoms. Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama, victory to Tibet, victory to Tibet!”
26 September Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok wave Tibetan flag then selfimmolate in Ngaba Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok, both 18 and from Kirti monastery, set fire to themselves. They waved the banned Tibetan flag, and called for religious freedom. Both these young monks are relatives of Phuntsok Jarutsang, who selfimmolated on 16 March 2011. The well-being and whereabouts of the two young monks are currently unclear but they are believed to be in separate hospitals.
Three Kirti monks were imprisoned for between 10 and 13 years for “intentional homicide” linked to Phuntsok Jarutsang’s death. There is no evidence that the three monks had any involvement in Phuntsok’s solitary act of self-immolation or subsequent death, other than possibly seeking to protect him from further harm before he died in hospital. One of the monks sentenced, Lobsang Tsondru, is Phuntsok’s uncle.
15 August Tsewang Norbu selfimmolates in Tawu Tsewang Norbu, 29, a monk from Nyitso monastery, Tawu, self-immolated. Tsewang Norbu doused himself and drank some petrol and then lit himself on fire. Eyewitnesses heard him shout, “we Tibetan people want freedom” and “let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet”. Tsewang Norbu died at the scene.
July Tibetan monks sentenced in Kardze A number of young Tibetans were sentenced for taking part in peaceful protests, including a man who was sentenced to three years and three nuns who had protested in June. On 12 July two young schoolgirls were detained and severely beaten. Li Daoping, Kardze Prefecture Party Secretary, announced “for anyone who dare to undermine the stability, we must not be soft and resolutely combat them. We should firmly smash separatist activities, firmly protect social stability and make an effort to equally develop all nationalities”.
6 July Heavy security around the Dalai Lama’s birthday Despite heavy security restrictions thousands of Tibetans in Tawu bravely celebrated the Dalai Lama’s birthday with mass incense-burning and offerings to illegal photographs of him.
6 – 30 June Multiple peaceful protests take place in Kardze At least 19 separate protests, sometimes up to three events in a single day, were reported in Kardze during this time. Some were solo, others by small groups. Protesters typically threw leaflets in the air and shouted slogans calling for freedom in Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama, and the release of political prisoners. In each case the authorities reacted with severe beatings and protesters were removed by truck. On 24 June it was reported that police had opened fire with rubber bullets on peaceful demonstrators. Details of injuries are not clear. Over 60 Tibetans in and around Kardze town had been detained by the end of June and the well-being and whereabouts of many is not known.
22 June Protest in Lhasa: Two monks from Dargye, Kham, demonstrated in Lhasa on 22 June by shouting slogans in the Barkhor area. This was the first known demonstration of its kind in Lhasa since 2008; throughout this time the city has been under lockdown with a climate of fear. One of the monks, Tashi Tsewang, 19, was detained almost immediately and the whereabouts and identity of the other monk are not known.
People’s Armed Police gather in Ngaba town, after protests following the funeral of Phuntsok, March 2011 37
3 May – 14 June Compulsory ‘re-education’ at Kirti Monastery Special Police remained stationed in Kirti monastery and armed soldiers occupied a residential compound next to the monastery. Security cameras and sound-recording devices were installed in the monks’ rooms and food and supplies were allowed in only once a week. Monks were given compulsory ‘re-education sessions’. On 17 May two women were released after 25 days in detention. Their heads had been shaved, and they had been beaten so badly that they were unable to look after themselves. In late May, reports emerged that some of the 300 monks removed from Kirti monastery on 21 April had been returned to their families. Other reports stated that hundreds of monks had left Kirti monastery in recent months due to the security crackdown and the patriotic re-education campaign making religious practice difficult or impossible. Two Kirti monks, Losang Dargye, 31, and Konchok Tsultrim, 33, were sentenced to three-year prison terms.
Hundreds of lay people and monks attend Phuntsok's funeral, March 2011
April Mass removal of monks from Kirti Monastery; 2 Tibetans killed
Thousands of Chinese armed troops were stationed inside the monastery preventing monks from moving freely. Further peaceful protests were staged in the Ngaba area; the first by three lay Tibetans who shouted for the “Self-government of Tibet”. The protesters were beaten and one later died. In reponse to his death a large-scale protest took place. Hundreds of lay people kept vigil at the gates of Kirti monastery blockading the inner entrance. Armed police and soldiers tried to break through by beating Tibetans and setting dogs on them. Monks were interrogated, sometimes beaten, and threatened by a high-ranking official that he would ‘destroy their very way of life’ if they did not respond to orders. Groups of security forces stepped up patrols of the monastery interrogating and sometimes beating the monks. Lay Tibetans were subject to house to house searches, neighboring monasteries were issued with restriction orders, and troops also arrived in surrounding nomadic areas. On 20 and 21 April about 800 Chinese Officials, armed forces and police entered Kirti monastery to forcibly quell unrest and opposition. Monks not complying with forced questioning were severely beaten and tortured. On the night of 21 April more than 300 monks were forcibly removed. Lay Tibetans who had been keeping vigil at the monastery gates attempted to stop the removal of the monks; they were severely beaten; two elderly Tibetans were killed. All communication networks were shut down and all movement in and out of Ngaba was heavily restricted. Foreigners and media were banned from the area.
From 17 March Heavy security at Kirti Monastery On 18 March thousands of Tibetans attended Phuntsok Jarutsang’s cremation and in the days that followed security intensified in and around Ngaba. Regular religious programmes at Kirti Monastery were suspended and a harsh ‘patriotic re-education’ campaign was launched. Numerous monks were arrested including two of Phuntsok’s family members on suspicion of involvement in Phuntsok’s self-immolation. Tibetans in a neighbouring county staged a solidarity protest; at least four Tibetans were arrested. Upper Middle School students held solidarity hunger strikes, which later led to them facing intense harassment: students’ textbooks and other reading materials were confiscated, and any books not approved were burnt. Students were not allowed to return homes during the summer vacation.
16 March 2011 Phuntsok Jarutsang self-immolates in Ngaba Phuntsok Jarutsang, 20, self-immolated in Ngaba on the anniversary of major protests by hundreds Tibetans in 2008 during which Chinese forces fired on protesters, killing ten Tibetans and injuring many more. Phuntsok died on 17 March.
27 February 2009 Tapey raises Tibetan flag and photo as he self-immolates in Ngaba Tapey, a monk in his 20s from Kirti Monastery, walked through Ngaba then set fire to himself. As he burned he held up a home-made Tibetan flag and a photo of the Dalai Lama. Tapey was shot by People’s Armed Police and fell to the ground, when PAP doused the flames and took him away. His current well-being and whereabouts remain unknown.
For an unformatted version of this document click HERE
The global Tibet movement demands that the Chinese government acknowledge the growing crisis and immediately address Tibetan grievances before more lives are lost.
We call on our Governments to: i. Publicly condemn China's use of force against unarmed Tibetan protesters. ii. Convey to China in the strongest terms that it must halt its violent crackdown immediately, and withdraw military and security forces from all areas. All Tibetans that have been detained should be released, and those injured be able to obtain medical help without fear of arrest. Call on China to cease all actions and policies that are contributing to the tensions, unrest and self-immolations in Tibet; to allow peaceful protest and to respond positively to the calls of Tibetans for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama. iii. Urgently seek to send diplomats to affected Tibetan areas, and demand from China assurances that foreign journalists will be allowed unfettered access to the Tibet Autonomous Region (including during the closure of the TAR from late February to mid-March) and Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan. iv. Vigorously pursue multi-lateral actions in appropriate international forums that will focus the attention of the government of the Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republic of China on the severity of the situation in Tibet.
www.tibetnetwork.org www.standupfortibet.org The International Tibet Network is a global coalition of 180 Tibet groups dedicated to campaigning non-violently to restore the rights that Tibetans lost when China occupied Tibet sixty years ago. The Network was created to strengthen individual member organisations and to make the Tibet movement as a whole more effective by coordinating powerful strategic campaigns on behalf of the Tibetan people.
Place Names in Chinese: Tibetan placenames have been used throughout this document. Below is a list of the equivalent Chinese names. County = Xian in Chinese TAP = Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Andu Village, Upper Ngaba, Amdo (Chinese: Aba, Sichuan) Barkham, Ngaba, Kham (Chinese: Maâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;erkang County, Aba TAP, Sichuan) Cha Township, Ngaba, Amdo (Chinese: Jia Township, Aba County, Qian TAP, Qinghai) Chentsa County, Malho, Amdo (Chinese: Jianzha County, Huangnan TAP, Qinghai) Choeten Town, Markham County, Kham (Chinese: Mangkang, TAR) Damshung County, Lhasa Prefecture, Central Tibet (Chinese: Dangxiong, Lhasa Municipality, TAR) Darlag, Golog, Amdo (Chinese: Dari County, Guolo TAP, Qinghai) Draggo, Kardze, Kham (Chinese: Ganzi TAP, Sichuan) Drango, Kardze, Kham (Chinese: Luhuo County, Ganzi TAP, Sichuan) Driru, Nagchu, Central Tibet (Chinese: Nagqu, TAR) Dzamthang, Ngaba, Amdo (Chinese: Rangtang County, Aba TAP, Sichuan) Dzatoe Town, Yulshul, Amdo (Chinese: Jyekundo, Yu shu TAP, Qinghai) Dzongchen, Kardze, Kham (Chinese: Ganzi TAP, Sichuan) Gepa Sumdo, Tsolho, Amdo (Chinese: Hainan Prefecture, Qinghai) Gonjo County, Chamdo Prefecture, Kham (Chinese: Chamdo, TAR) Machu County, Amdo (Chinese: Maqu County, Gansu) Meruma Township, Ngaba, Amdo (Chinese: Aba, Sichuan) Nyima Town, Machu County, Amdo (Chinese: Ni ma Town, Maqu County, Gansu) Pema County, Amdo (Chinese: Baima County, Guolo TAP, Qinghai) Serthar, Kardze, Kham (Chinese: Seda County, Ganzi TAP, Sichuan) Sog Dzong, Nagchu, Central Tibet (Chinese: Sog County, Nagqu, TAR) Sogpo, Rebkong, Amdo (Chinese: Henan Autonomous County, Qinghai) Tongpo Town, Rebkong, Amdo (Chinese: Tongren County, Qinghai) Tridu County, Yushul, Kham (Chinese: Chenduo, Yu shu TAP, Qinghai) Tsoe, Khanlho, Amdo (Chinese: Gannan, Gansu)