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July 11, 2015, 12:59:38 PM
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Tibetan Self-Immolator Identified, China Clamps Down in Protest Area
2015-07-10  




Tibetan monk burns in protest in Kyegudo, Qinghai, July 9, 2015.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener


The Tibetan monk who set himself on fire on Thursday in the town of Kyegudo in northwestern China’s Qinghai province has been identified as the son of a local businessman disliked by Chinese authorities because of his support for Tibetan language and culture, sources in the area and in exile said.

Sonam Topgyal, aged about 26, self-immolated at about 6:00 p.m. on July 9 in the central square of Kyegudo in the Yulshul (in Chinese, Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, prompting an immediate security clampdown including a disruption of communications in the area, a local resident told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday.

“Local people believe that Sonam Topgyal self-immolated because he wanted to show how much his family has suffered under Chinese rule,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Topgyal’s family home and other valuable properties had been demolished by Chinese authorities in 2012 as part of a road-widening scheme, after which his family was briefly detained and his father, prominent local businessman Nangchen Tashi, was tortured by police, the source said.

“Nangchen Tashi had consistently worked to promote Tibetan culture, language, and religion, and had often provided grants for the support and education of poor Tibetans,” he said.

And though Tashi’s home and a family-owned hotel and shop were left undamaged by an April 14, 2010 earthquake in Kyegudo that killed 3,000 according to official figures and largely devastated the town, “all his properties were destroyed by the Chinese,” he said.

Communications cut

Thursday’s self-immolation by Topgyal, who had pursued advanced Buddhist studies at Dzongsar monastery in Sichuan’s Dege county, brings to 142 the total number of burnings by Tibetans living in China since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009.

It was the sixth to take place since the beginning of the year.

Separately, a Tibetan living in exile confirmed Topgyal’s self-immolation, adding that Chinese security forces, including armed police, had quickly filled the streets following the protest.

Electronic communication services were also cut, the source said, citing contacts in the town.

“Everything is now disconnected, except in the larger hotels and in hospitals,” he said.

Though Topgyal was quickly transported to a hospital for treatment following his protest, no word has been received on his present condition or whereabouts.

"Tension and discontent have been mounting in this Tibetan town due to the frequent cases of land grabbing by local Chinese authorities for Chinese government projects,” the India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) said in a July 10 statement.

“As a result of the corrupt ties between developers and local Chinese authorities, Tibetans are being dispossessed of housing plots that they have owned in Kyegudo town for generations,” TCHRD said.

Reported and translated by Guru Choegyi for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English by Richard Finney.
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July 11, 2015, 05:05:26 PM
 #2

The United Nations should conduct a referendum in Tibet. If they vote for freedom, then they should be given the same. The Chinese invasion of 1959 was in violation to the international laws, and the ongoing silent genocide in Tibet must be stopped immediately. Also, all the Tibetan majority regions outside the Tibet Province should be merged with the latter (esp. those areas within the provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan).


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July 11, 2015, 08:43:36 PM
 #3

Self-immolations by Tibetans

Last Updated: July 10, 2015, 12:28 EST

This list provides summary details of the self-immolations by Tibetans in the PRC since February, 2009 (all except one, by a Tibetan woman in Beijing, have taken place in Tibet). A list below provides details of self-immolations by Tibetans in exile.

The Chinese authorities in Tibet have intensified measures to prevent information reaching the outside world about the self-immolations. This has been combined with a more aggressive and formalized response to the self-immolations, involving harsh sentencing and torture for those suspected of involvement, even if that is simply bearing witness. Due to this climate, it is impossible for this list to be fully comprehensive, and it is indicated on the list where circumstances of the self-immolations are not fully known.

A map marking the locations of the self-immolations in Tibet can be viewed here. For further information and details of the lives of a number of those who self-immolated and the statements they left behind. (ICT report, Storm in the Grasslands: Self-immolations in Tibet and Chinese policy)

The first self-immolation in Tibetan society in the modern era took place in exile in Delhi, India, on April 27, 1998, when Thubten Ngodrup set himself on fire – and later died – as a Tibetan Youth Congress hunger strike was broken up by Indian police. Since then, five more Tibetans have set fire to themselves in exile, detailed in the enclosed list.



Sonam Tobgyal
Sangye Tso
Tenzin Gyatso
Neykyab
Yeshi Kandro
Norchuk
Kalsang Yeshe
Tseypey
Sangye Khar
Lhamo Tashi
Kunchok
Thinley Namgyal
Dolma
Lobsang Palden
Jigme Tenzin
Lobsang Dorje
Phagmo Samdup
Tsultrim Gyatso
Kunchok Tseten
Tsering Gyal
Shichung
Kunchok Sonam
Wangchen Dolma
Tenzin Sherab
Losang Dawa
Konchok Woeser
Chugtso
Kunchok Tsomo
Konchok Tenzin
Lhamo Kyab
Kalkyi
Lobsang Thogme
Kunchok Wangmo*
Sangdag
Tsesung Kyab
Phagmo Dundrup
Rinchen
Sonam Dhargye
NamlhaTsering
Drugpa Khar
Lobsang Namgyal
Konchok Kyab
Tsering
Tsering Tashi
Wangchen Kyi
Kunchok Pelgye
Pema Dorjee
Lobsang Geleg   Sungdue Kyab
Kunchok Kyab
Tsering Namgyal
Wande Khar
Sanggye Tashi
Kelsang Kyab
Gonpo Tsering
Kunchok Tsering
Wangyal
Sangay Dolma
Tamdrin Kyab
Tamdrin Dorjee
Lubhum Gyal
Tsering Dundrup
Wangchen Norbu
Sangdag Tsering
Chagmo Kyi
Khabum Gyal
Tenzin Dolma
Nyangchag Bum
Nyangkar Tashi
Gonpo Tsering
Jinpa Gyatso
Dorjee
Samdrup
Dorjee Kyab
Tamding Tso
Tsegyal
Dorjee Lhundrup
Tsewang Kyab
Lhamo Tseten
Tsepo
Tenzin
Dorje Rinchen
Dhondup
Lhamo Kyab
Tamdin Dorje
Sangay Gyatso
Gudrub
Yangdang
Passang Lhamo
Lobsang Damchoe
Lobsang Kelsang
Lungtok
Tashi
Chopa
Dolkar Tso   Lobsang Tsultrim
Losang Lozin
Tsewang Dorjee
Dickyi Choezom
Ngawang Norphel
Tenzin Khedup
Tamdin Thar
Rikyo
Dargye
Dorje Tseten
Choepak Kyap
Sonam
Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche & Atse*
Chimey Palden
Tenpa Darjey
Lobsang Sherab
Sonam Dargye
Lobsang Tsultrim
Jamyang Palden
Gepey
Dorjee
Rinchen
Tsering Kyi
Nangdrol
Damchoe Sangpo
Lobsang Gyatso
Tenzin Choedron
Sonam Rabyang
Rinzin Dorje
Losang Jamyang
Sonam Wangyal
Tsultrim
Tennyi
Tenzin Phuntsog
Palden Choetso
Dawa Tsering
Tenzin Wangmo
Norbu Damdrul
Choepel
Kayang
Kelsang Wangchuk
Lobsang Kelsang
Lobsang Kunchok
Tsewang Norbu
Phuntsog
Tapey

http://www.savetibet.org/resources/fact-sheets/self-immolations-by-tibetans/
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July 11, 2015, 11:41:45 PM
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142 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet and China since February 27, 2009. A Rinpoche and his niece, died in a fire – according to information from the Tibetan government in exile and Woeser, this may have been a self-immolation that was later erroneously described as a house fire. See details below on Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche and his niece Atse.
117 men, 25 women
114 of the 142 are known to have died following their protest
24 of the Tibetans who self-immolated were 18 or under
45 of the 142 are from Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
13 of the 142 were monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba
11 of the 142 are former monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba (It is currently not known who of the nine chose to disrobe, or were expelled from the monastery by government authorities)
Two of the 142 were nuns from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery in Ngaba
141 of the self-immolations have occurred since March 16, 2011
Seven self-immolations by Tibetans have occurred in exile, detailed below in a separate section of this list »
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July 11, 2015, 11:58:57 PM
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Sangye Tso



Sangey Tso
Date: May 27, 2015
Protest location: Chone (Chinese: Zhuoni) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province
Age: 36

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Sangye Tso set fire to herself and died on May 27 in a township in Chone (Chinese: Zhuoni) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province, according to Tibetan sources. The location she chose to self-immolate was significant – outside a government building near the monastery of Tashi Choekhorling in Dorkok township. A Tibetan exile source in contact with Tibetans in the area said: “The specific location was the Party and government offices, including the local police station, symbolic to locals of policies of injustice against Tibetans, as well as the main offices to enforce the crackdown against police protest in 2008.”
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July 12, 2015, 12:04:45 AM
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Tenzin Gyatso




Tenzin Gyatso
Date: May 20, 2015
Protest location: Tawu (Chinese: Daofu) county in Sichuan
Age: Early thirties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: A Tibetan father of four set fire to himself in Tawu apparently in response to tightened security in the buildup to the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. Tenzin Gyatso, the fourth Tibetan to self-immolate this year, was taken away by armed police and it is not known if he is still alive. He set fire to himself outside a government building where political education was carried out, according to Tibetan sources.
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July 12, 2015, 09:01:21 AM
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Neykyab


Neykyab
Date: April 16, 2015
Protest location: Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county in Sichuan
Age: Forties or fifties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: The Tibetan man was named by Tibetan sources as Neykyab, believed to be in his forties or fifties. The same sources said that he was the brother-in-law of another Tibetan from Ngaba, Dargye, who set fire to himself in Lhasa on May 27, 2012.

A local source from Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo) told Radio Free Asia: “He was protesting against Chinese policies in Tibet. His body was taken away by police.” Another source told RFA: “He had received [religious] recognition for his vow not to harm others in personal disputes—a vow that he took in honor of all those who have sacrificed themselves in self-immolation protests for the cause of Tibetan freedom” the source said.” (RFA report, April 16, 2015).
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July 12, 2015, 09:03:22 AM
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Yeshi Kandro



Yeshi Kandro
Date: April 8, 2015
Protest location: Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Forties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Believed to be deceased

Info: A Tibetan nun in her forties called Yeshi Kandro set fire to herself on April 8 in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) and is believed to have died, according to Tibetan sources. She called for the long life of the Dalai Lama, for the Dalai Lama to be invited to Tibet, and for freedom for Tibet as she set herself alight, according to the same sources
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July 12, 2015, 07:18:56 PM
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Norchuk



Norchuk
Date: March 5, 2015
Protest location: A village in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), the Tibetan area of Amdo
Age: Late forties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: A 40-year old Tibetan woman set herself on fire and died in a village in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) on the night of March 5, in the first self-immolation in Tibet this year.

Norchuk was from Dowa village in the Trotsik area of Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan (in the Tibetan area of Amdo). Unusually, her body was not taken by the authorities but local people cremated her remains the next morning in order to pay their respects.
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July 12, 2015, 07:20:14 PM
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Kalsang Yeshe



Kalsang Yeshe
Date: December 23, 2014
Protest location: Tawu, the Tibetan area of Kham
Age: Late twenties or thirties

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: A Tibetan monk known for his work teaching others about Buddhism set fire to himself and died today in Tawu, the Tibetan area of Kham, according to reports from Tibetans in exile. According to the same sources, Kalsang Yeshe self-immolated near a police station that had been established recently by his monastery, Nyitso, where repression of monks and local people has been particularly intense in recent years.
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July 16, 2015, 07:46:29 PM
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Tseypey


Tseypey
Date: December 22, 2014
Protest location: Center of a town in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), the Tibetan area of Amdo
Age: 19

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: She was identified by exile sources as Tseypey, the fourth of six children from a family in Meruma township, and the same sources say that she died on the scene.

Tseypey was described by Tibetans who knew her as “well-behaved, honest and gentle”, according to Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala. She had not received a formal education but grew up working as a herder with her parents. According to the same sources, her 60 year old father and 50 year old mother have reportedly been taken away by police, but it is not clear whether they have been detained.
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July 16, 2015, 07:48:19 PM
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Sangye Khar



Date: December 16, 2014
Protest location: Amchok town in Sangchu (Xiahe) county Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu
Age: Unknown

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: Sangye Khar is believed to be from a semi-nomadic area in Kanlho, Gansu. Details of the self-immolation were sketchy due to security restrictions in the area.
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July 20, 2015, 08:18:06 PM
 #13

 Latest Tibetan Self-Immolator Slams  China's Policies in Written Final Message
2015-07-17  


Beijing’s policies in Tibetan-populated areas of China are rapidly destroying Tibet’s religion and culture and are harming the region’s environment, according to a final testament written by a Tibetan monk before his death in a fiery protest early this month in Qinghai.

Writing in a document left behind in a prayer book, and later discovered in his living quarters by his family, self-immolator Sonam Topgyal slams China’s “brutal and repressive policy aimed at eradicating and exterminating [Tibet’s] religion, customs, and cultural tradition.”

“The Tibetan people have no freedom of expression. There is nowhere we can go to lodge our complaints,” says the document, which was written on June 1 “at sunrise” and addressed to “the leaders of the People’s Republic of China in general, and to the Chinese leaders of the [Tibetan] ethnic minority in particular.”

China's policies "are also resulting in environmental destruction" in Tibetan areas, the document says.

Topgyal, 27, set himself ablaze at about 6:00 p.m. on July 9 in the central square of Kyegudo in the Yulshu (in Chinese, Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, prompting an immediate security clampdown, including a disruption of communications in the area, sources told RFA in earlier reports.

He died next day in a hospital in the Qinghai provincial capital Xining.

'Testimony to the world'

Following their release on July 13 after briefly being held by authorities, Topgyal’s family members went to clean his living quarters, Konchog Dondrub, a Yulshul native now living in India, told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Thursday.

“There, they found a one-page written will tucked inside his prayer book,” Dondrub said, citing contacts in the region.

Chinese authorities routinely impose restrictions on Tibetan religious and other cultural practices, says the document, a copy of which was recently obtained by RFA.

"And Tibetans who petition for the welfare of their people are met with repression and arrest,” the document says.

“The Chinese have never shown any consideration of the [Tibetan] people’s welfare or wishes by addressing their concerns."

“I had to sacrifice my life to bear testimony to the world, and particularly to the Chinese government and people, that we have no freedom to express our grievances or tell the truth,” Topgyal wrote.

“I appeal to my Tibetan brothers and sisters, who have the same lineage and blood, to muster the power of unity and harmony by working toward resolving Tibetan issues in a concerted effort.”

Topgyal’s self-immolation brings to 142 the total number of burnings by Tibetans living in China since the wave of fiery protests calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama began in 2009.

Reported by Sonam Wangdue and Guru Choegyi for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.
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