These recent immolations have reportedly been protests against the Chinese government's repression of freedom of religion and cultural rights in Tibetan areas. However, China accused His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his associates of planning the 35 self-immolations in Tibet and another in India recently.
"Choephak Kyab, 20 years of age, and Sonam around 20 from Zamthang county, Ngaba region, northeastern Tibet, self-immolated in protest of Chinese oppression," Tseyang Gyatso, currently based in Dharamshala told World News Network.
"According to information from a source in Tibet, they haven't been caught by Chinese authorities, but, both of them were already dead after setting themselves on fire on Thursday," Tseyang further added.
Local Tibetans managed to prevent the paramilitary troops from removing the bodies of the two Tibetans. They then took away the bodies to the monastery to carry out prayers. The situation in the area remains tense following the deployment of a large number of military troops, sources said.
Tibetans living in exile and hundreds of their supporters from abroad on Thursday evening, April 19, held a mass candlelit vigil in Dharamshala to pay respect to the two young Tibetans who died.
On April 2nd, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said concerned people should examine the causes of the self-immolations. "I think this problem was not created by...Tibetan Buddhist culture," he told a Taiwanese news channel Next TV, "which is very peaceful, very compassionate... This problem was started by totalitarian, blind policy. So the people who created that policy must think seriously about these things."
"In Tibet, they are doing it because there is no room for any form of protest - hunger strikes, rallies, demonstrations. Anything you do, the Chinese authorities will come and arrest you, put you behind bars, and sometimes you'll get killed," Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of Central Administration told Next TV.
Since 2009, 35 Tibetans in Tibet have set themselves on fire calling for freedom and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's return to his homeland. 25 of these self-immolators have died, and others are either critically injured or their status unknown.