Dharamshala: In the past six months, seven monks have set themselves on fire in eastern China. Friday October 7 saw the latest in a series of self-immolation's - the act of setting oneself on fire. Choepel, 19 and Khayang, 18 self-immolated in Ngaba county, days after 17 year-old Kalsang set himself alight.
The increase in self-immolation incidents highlights the extraordinary lengths Tibetans are willing to go to in order to protest the continued repression of Tibetans under Chinese policies.
The current situation in Ngaba is extremely volatile. Continued reports filtering out of the region have commented on a heightened security presence in the region. Chinese authorities have attempted to contain any further protests by withholding the body of Khayang after he died in hospital on 8 October and also restricting the ceremonies commemorating his death.
Chinese authorities have met Tibetan uprisings with harsh response in the past, as seen in the 2008 Tibetan uprisings. As such a silent protest has been carried out in Ngaba over the last 3 days with many Tibetans simply closing their business' as a mark of solidarity and support to the two teens who self-immolated last Friday.
Responding to the steadily increasing tension in Ngaba county, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) issued a statement condemning Chinese authorities' response to the recent events and calling for the release of self-immolation survivors, three of which are still missing.
The CTA also called on the international community to show solidarity with the Tibetans living in Ngaba and to draw attention to the grave situation in Tibet. The Tibetan Government's statement concluded with an appeal to "the international community to press the government of the People's Republic of China to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully through dialogue".
Free Tibet website claims to have received reports that many more monks are prepared to sacrifice their lives if Chinese policies at the monastery and in the town continue.