London: The Tibetan community in Britain stood shoulder to shoulder with those in Tibet this week, marking the death of Lobsang Jamyang with a vigil outside the Chinese embassy in London. On January the 18th, coinciding with the Tibetan observance of Lhakar (white Wednesday), members of the community each held a placard with photographs of the 16 Tibetans who have now self-immolated within the past year, and marking the tragic loss of the latest life: 22 year old Lobsang.
An educated an active member of the community of Andu area inNgaba, and an ex-monk of Adu Monastery, Lobsang Jamyang is the latest to resort to self-immolation in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet, and for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On January 14th, in the heavily controlled region of Ngaba, Lobsang entered a public toilet near a busy intersection and doused himself in petrol. He proceeded to set himself alight, and walked to the nearby street, calling for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and for freedom in Tibet.
Lobsang was a known active member of the ‘Tibetan Mother Language' programme, which trained and assisted with the Tibetan language in the region, however was regularly intimidated for his activist role by Chinese authorities.
The self-immolation of Lobsang led to a large public demonstration in the area, calling for his release. It has emerged that his death came two days later on January 16th, under Chinese custody, and the demonstration witnessed serious injuries and possible deaths on behalf of the Tibetans, who were fired upon and beaten by Chinese security forces.
The vigil in London which lasted two hours and was attended by around thirty members of the community, respectfully marked the loss of the latest Tibetan to take their life in flames, a final resort in unprecedented circumstances.
Chief Executive of the Tibet Society Philippa Carrick highlighted in an interview for the Tibet Post International the tragic loss of Lobsang Jamyang. She added:
"Today we are marking the latest self-immolation in Tibet. We are here today with a consistent global message: that China needs to accept there is a problem in Tibet, to address it, and to open dialogue on the Tibet issue".
Sixteen placards, each with the photo (where possible) of the sixteen Tibetans who have self-immolated in the past year, were held aloft outside the embassy: a dutiful reminder of those who had given their life in the hope of a better future for their homeland.