Monk burns himself to death, calls out for Tibet’s independence

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Tibet-Kalsang-Wangdu-2016Dharamshala — In sources coming out of Tibet, a Tibetan monk set himself on fire and died in a protest against Chinese occupation of Tibet, in eastern Tibet and reported called out for independence for Tibet.

Kalsang Wangdu, a 18-year old monk from the Retsokha Aryaling monastery, reportedly self-immolated at around 4:00 p.m. on February 29, near his monastery in Nyakrong County of Kham Province, eastern Tibet (Ch: Nyagrong in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The self-immolation could not be immediately confirmed and China's state-controlled media is silent on the latest self-immolation protest as they did in the past. Details such as his age also could not be confirmed.

Wangdu called out for Tibet's independence, while protesting against China's occupation of Tibet," the source said, adding that locals witnesses tried to save him by extinguishing the flames but he died on the way to a hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

"However, he died on the way before reaching Chengdu," he said, adding, "His father's name is Sotra, and his mother's name is Ugyen Dolma."

This latest incident brought the total verified number of self-immolations in Tibet to 143 since February, 2009 and and of them 123 were reportedly passed-away while the status of the rest remains unknown or critically injured.

An anonymous source further said that while Wangdu was on fire he shouted slogans calling for "Tibet's complete independence". Locals tried to save him but he died on the way to hospital.

Wangdu's protest will mark the first of its kind inside Tibet this year, where more than 140 Tibetans have carried out protests through self-immolation. The last confirmed case was in August 2015 when 55-year-old Tashi Kyi from Sangchu County self-immolated in her house and died the following day.

Most of the Tibetan self-immolators have called for freedom of Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Most parts of Tibet have suffered severe crackdowns and been under heightened restrictions and controls in the past six decades, that China calls it a "peaceful liberation". But Tibetans describe a systematic repression, excluded from positions of power and imprisoned.

China's invasion of Tibet and its continuous implementation of harsh policies to crackdown the freedom of Tibetans living inside Tibet have triggered Tibetans to resort to more extreme forms of resistance.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 March 2016 10:52 )  


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