Dharamshala — Tibetans in India's northern hill town of Dharamshala, India held candle light vigil on Wednesday (March 02) to express solidarity with self-immolators and protested. Two Tibetan teenagers set themselves on fire on the same day, in an apparent protest against China's occupation of Tibet.
Kalsang Wangdu, a 18-year old Tibetan monk set himself on fire on February 29 (Monday) in Karze region of eastern Tibet protesting China's occupation and hard line policies in Tibet. Sources confirmed that he succumbed to his injuries on the way to a hospital.
Another Tibetan, Dorjee Tserin, a 16-year-old Tibetan schoolboy, set himself on fire on the same day, in Dehradun, Uttarkhand State, India, protesting China's occupation and hard line policies in Tibet. He survived the protest but reportedly suffered burns to 95% of his body and is currently being treated at a hospital in Delhi.
The vigil was jointly organised by the Dharamshala based three Tibetan NGOs, namely the Students for free Tibet India, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress,and Regional Tibetan Woman' Association. Over two hundred Tibetans and supporters were attended the vigil in solidarity.
The organisers said that "the protests are an extreme repression of anger and frustration felt Tibetans living under the heavy handed Chinese rule."
"They both called out for Tibet's independence for the sake of our country and people, while protesting" against Chinese rule, Asia-Desk Director for Students for free Tibet Dorjee Tsetan said, adding: "We stand in solidarity with them and we honor all our freedom fighters inside and outside Tibet."
"We pary our profound honour to every Tibetan martyr who has sacrificed his/her life for Tibet's cause," said Wangden Kyab, President of Regional Youth Congress.
"I am reminding the Chinese government that as long as Tibetans exist on this earth, the issue of Tibet will never fade away," he added, saying: "Our struggle for a free Tibet will continue grow."
"This is reality heart breaking news. Very young Tibetans, even teenagers set themselves on fire for Tibet cause," Tenzin Noryang, general secretary of the Regional Tibetan Women's Association.
Noryang asked the crowd to kindly keep the Tibetan self-immolators in their thoughts and urged them to pray for Dorjee Tseten's swift recovery.
At least 150 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest against the repressive Chinese occupation of Tibet. Of these, 143 did so within Tibet, while the remaining eight were living in exile and of them125 have died, including 124 within Tibet and four abroad.
Most of the Tibetan self-immolators have called for freedom of Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.