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17 march 2012 001At about 5 pm on March 16th, Losang Tsultrim, a 20 year old monk at the Tantric college of Kirti monastery, set himself on fire. He proceeded to march along the main road in the upper part of Ngaba county town, shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government.

As he walked on from the site of his self-immolation, armed police personnel came running to intercept him, at which he turned and ran back in the other direction, continuing to shout. He was then knocked to the ground by a police officer, the police extinguished the flames, and threw him into the back of a pickup vehicle. He was held down by police officers, but was seen to raise his arms while continuing to shout, showing that he was still alive.

The slogans he was shouting could not be heard. Losang Tsultrim was from the Yeshe Tsang household in Soruma village,  Choejema township, Ngaba county. His father's name is Yeshe and his mother is Tsedron; he was the eldest of four brothers and sisters. He joined Kirti monastery at the age of eight, and studied at the ‘Buddhist Youth Academy' or monastery school. Once the school was closed down in 2003, he entered the monastery's Tantric college.

Tsultrim was among the best in recitation liturgy, and was a humble and well behaved student. Early this morning, armed police and other security forces increased their presence at the main gates to the monastery compound. They set up checkpoints on all the roads and paths leading to Ngaba county town in an unusually heavy crackdown, presumably aimed at preventing protests on the anniversary of Losang Puntsok's self-immolation protest in 2011.

Additionally, the whereabouts of Lhaso Lodro, the Kirti monk arrested on October 2nd 2011 remain unknown.

Losang Yeshe and Kanyag Tsering Kirti monastery in exile March 16th 2012