Dharamshala: Setting himself ablaze near a local mining settlement, Tsering Dhondup is the latest to take to the fiery form of protest sweeping across Eastern Tibet. Reports have emerged that on Tuesday 20th November 2012, at around 8.30 am (local time) the 34 year old Tibetan layman from Chingan village of Amchok, (Sangchu County, Lhadrong: Amdo) self-immolated near a local government mine. Photos emerging of the protest suggest that Dhondup died at the scene.
Highlighting the extreme pressures Tibetans are facing under Chinese rule, Tsering Dhondup tragically leaves behind a wife: Tandin Tso, and two children. The level of sacrifice individuals are making to highlight the Tibet issue appears to be growing, as well as a pattern of increasing numbers of young men, women and parents using self-immolation as a form of protest.
Reports have not yet emerged of weather Dhondp left a political message or speech before self-immolating, however the region has witnessed similar protests, including Lhamo Tsten on the 26th October of this year, in the same region. The community has since witnessed a steep increase in Chinese military forces, as well as a more visible police presence. Very tight restrictions are also in place to prevent information leaving the region.
It is reported that Tsering Dhondup was known locally as a kind man, and often spoke emotionally of the Tibet issue. Currently, the monks of Amchok monastery are conducting prayers for the layman. It is also reported that many Tibetans are arriving at the monastery to pay their respects.
November has witnessed an alarming surge in self-immolation protests: Tsering Dhondup is the 16th this month alone. With the political handover of power concluded in Beijing, it appears that Tibetans will continue to use self-immolation as a method of non-violent (against others) action to highlight the crisis in the Land of Snows.