Dharamsala: Startling video footage released today by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) shows the April self-immolations of two young Tibetans. Additional recordings show the brutal crackdown by Chinese authorities on peaceful protests inside Tibet in January of this year.
Activist and ex-political prisoner Tenpa Dargye played a key role in obtaining the videos, which will live on the Internet at TibetOnline.TV. In order to protect the safety of his sources inside Tibet, Dargye declined to directly answer any question detailing how he gained access to the footage.
The recordings document the growing unrest inside Tibet. On 23 January 2012, a crowd of Tibetan monks and laypeople over 1,000 strong organized a peaceful candlelight vigil in Zume Namda township in Zamthang to express solidarity with Tibetans who have self-immolated in protest against the Chinese government's rule.
Three days later, on 26 January, Chinese security forces shot and killed 20-year old Ogyen following a peaceful protest by Tibetans in Barma township in Zamthang. In the early afternoon of the same day, Ogyen and fellow students pasted pamphlets throughout the town, leading to the arrest of another Tibetan, Tharpa. The shooting and arrest triggered a massive rally by Tibetans in front of the Public Security Office, leading to a large deployment of security forces in the region.
Less than one month after the shooting, the situation in Zamthang continued to deteriorate. Heightened repression motivated 18-year-old Nangdrol to set himself on fire near the Zamthang Monastery. "Under China's rule there is immense suffering," the English translation of his final note reads, "It is not possible to live under this evil rule."
Then, on April 19, two Tibetan youths in their twenties named Sonam and Choephag Kyab also self-immolated. The newly released video footage depicts this act of protest. In the translation of their collective statement, the two write, "In sound mind and thought, both of us in sound mind and thought, self immolated for the restoration of freedom in Tibet, growth of Buddhism, happiness for humanity and world peace."
reveals they performed their act "In sound mind and thought. Video