Dharamshala — A Tibetan monk who survived a joint self-immolation protest was released on June 29, 2017 after serving more than six years in Chinese prison. The other was released in March 2017 with a leg missing.
Lobsang Konchok, 18, and Lobsang Kalsang, 19, staged a joint self-immolation protest on September 26, 2011. The twin self-immolations took place in the Ngaba County town, Eastern Tibet.
Both monks are from Meruma Town in Ngaba County, north-eastern Tibet and studied at Kirti Monastery, the site of many self immolations and protests against Chinese policies.
“Kalsang was released on July 29, 2017 from Deyang Prison in Sichuan Province and he is said to be under strict surveillance at his home in north-eastern Tibet,” sources said, adding: “There is no further details on Kelsang.”
The other monk Konchok was released with a leg missing on March 28, 2017 from Deyang Prison in Sichuan Province after serving more than six years in Chinese prison. He has since been kept under strict surveillance at his home in Meruma town. At the time of detention, his condition was reportedly critical. Konchok reportedly was unable to eat and his family had been informed that his legs and arms would be amputated.
Nearly 160 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in protest both inside Tibet and in exile at the repressive Chinese occupation of their country. Pasang Dhondup was the tenth Tibetan to mount such a protest outside Tibet. Of the ten Tibetan self-immolators in exile, eight died due to severe burn injuries.
Of the 149 self-immolations in Tibet, only 18 are known to have survived. All the survivors reportedly imprisoned on charges of endangering public security, which carries the penalty of prison terms ranging from three to 10 years. In March 2016, a monk named Samdup, who was 16 when he committed self-immolation, was released after serving three years in prison. In September 2016, Tapey, the monk who became the first Tibetan to self-immolate in Tibet, was found imprisoned at Deyang Prison, after his whereabouts were unknown for several years.
Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of only 6 million total Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment have been inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".