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31 july 2012 002
Dharamshala: - The 22-year old Tibetan self-immolator from Nyalam County, U-Tsang region of Central Tibet finally passed away on July 30, according to information received by The Tibet Post International (TPI).

On June 20, there was a twin self- immolation protest by Tibetan youth in Zathok Township of Yushu County, Kham region in eastern Tibet. Tenzin Kedhup passed away at the scene, while Ngawang Norphel, suffering from severe burns, was taken to the hospital in Siling city (Chiese: Xinning).

Ngawang Norphel passed away at 3:30 pm (Tibetan Time) on June 30. His uncle Tenzing Phelgye, who lives in Dharamshala, said, “Ngawang completely stopped speaking four or five days before he died.”

At the time of his death Chinese officials released Ngawang Norphel body to his father, Lhapa Dhundup, and said that the family can bury his corpse as they see fit. His father said that the general custom, from where they were from, is to offer the body to the eagles. However, due to the hospitalization of his son, prior to his death, there would be high amounts of medication in Ngawang Norphel system and thus the eagles would not come. As a result Lhapa Dhundup decided to cremate his son after a few days.

Tenzin Pelgye informed TPI that, “Nagwang Norphel was from Tridu village, Minpo township of Nyalam County in Shigaze, U-tsang region, Central Tibet, and not from Ngaba county, Amdo region of north-eastern Tibet, as earlier reported.”

According to his uncle Nagwang lived in Kham region for the last five years. He further explained that in November 2008, Nagwang left his home and moved to Kham region of eastern Tibet. Initially his friends and family did not know where he was, but after two years they got a call from him saying that he had moved and he was well and safe and would try to come home soon.

After the news of the self-immolations spread, Nagwang’s family realized that he was one of the immolators. His father then went to the hospital in Siling city to see him. At first Lhakpa Dhondup was denied entry by the Chinese police. However, he explained to them who he was and then only was he allowed to see his son. At the time Ngawang was severely injured and could not talk much. Ngawang Norphel’s mother is Tsering Yangchen.

Tibetans in their homeland still live with the daily realities of hardship and suppression under China's military invasion since 1959, as well as, the threat of imprisonment and torture. Since 27 February 2009, there have been confirmed reports of 46 self-immolations in all three traditional provinces of Tibet, according to the Tibetan writer, Tsering Woeser and a foreign reporter who recently visited eastern Tibet.

Of these, 37 have been carried out by men and nine by women. 34 of the 46 are known to have died following their protests. 25 were from Ngaba, eastern Tibet, seven were monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba, five were nuns, three were mothers and one was a schoolgirl. 45 of the self-immolations have occurred in Tibet since 16 March 2011.

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