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Pema-Gyaltsen-24-Nyakrong-TibetDharamshala — In reports coming out of Tibet, a young Tibetan man set himself on fire Saturday in the Kham region of eastern Tibet in continued protest against China's occupation of Tibet.

Pema Gyaltsen (Pegyal), 24 years of age, set himself on fire at the main market square of Karze county, (Ch: Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province) on March 18, 2017, around 4:00 pm (local time) in protest against the China's repressive rule in Tibet

Speaking to the Tibet Post International (TPI), Lobsang, from Nyakrong, currently living in exile said "Pegyal, a former self-immolated and shouted slogans at a road junction in the main market of Karze County, Kham province of eastern Tibet, in an apparent protest against Chinese repressive rule in Tibet. The police reportedly arrived at the scene and immediately took him away, as he was severely burned."

"Around 10 people later approached the Chinese authorities for the body but they were not give the custody of his body. In return they detained them and severely beaten for one night. Some were taken to the hospital after being assaulted by police. The authorities told the family members that only two of them be allowed to visit him in a hospital. It is still unclear whether he is still alive at this time," he added.

The details of the Tibetan youth were not known as the authorities have immediately imposed a "heavy restriction" shortly after the incident. The current condition of the Tibetan youth remains unconfirmed, but it is believed that he is severely injured.

Though his locals described him as honest and spiritual person, who has a very specific personality. He became a vegetarian for spiritual reasons. The source said that "Pegyal had never gone to school. Because his family relies on him."

Pegyal hails from Chayul village in Nyakrong Tsokha, Nyakrong county, eastern Tibet. His father's name is Wanggyal and mother's name is Yulllha.

The source also noted that getting further information on the latest protest is "very difficult" as his contacts are wary of growing Chinese surveillance and monitoring on all modes of communication.

"A large number of heavily armed police forces have been deployed around the area after the incident. Phone lines and Internet connectivity have been cut off," he said, citing contacts in the region.

Pegyal-24-Tibet-Nyakrong-2017The total self-immolation inside Tibet reached 146 since 2009. Out of the 146, 126 have died while the status of the rest remains unknown or critically injured. Most of the self-immolators have called on the Chinese government to allow the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibet.

This incident brought the total verified number of self-immolations in Tibet to 146 since February, 2009 and and of them 116 were reportedly passed-away due to their severe injuries.

The Tibetan self-immolators have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for the Tibetan people. Most parts of Tibet have suffered severe crackdowns and been under heightened restrictions and controls.

The Chinese government has blamed outside forces for the self-immolations, particularly His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration- regarded by China as a subversive.

But, Dr Lobsang Sangay who was elected in the third direct elections by the people for Sikyong, the political leadership has denied such accusations, saying that the main cause of self-immolation is "Beijing's hard-line policies, including political repression, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, cultural assimilation and denial of religious freedom."

Chinese government says Tibet has always been part of its territory, but Tibetans say Tibet was virtually independent for centuries until Chinese troops invaded in the 1950s.

Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".


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