Monk dies in first self-immolation in Tibet since 2015

Kalsang Wangdu

2nd March 2016

Kalsang Wangdu sets himself alight on same day as Tibetan in India; Tibetan woman stages solo protest elsewhere in Tibet on 1 March

18-year-old Kalsang Wangdu died shortly after staging his protest on 29 February near his monastery in Nyarong County, Kardze, eastern Tibet.

After starting the fire he called out for “Tibet’s complete independence” as passers-by doused him with water in an attempt to save him. He died in transit to a hospital in Chengdu.

Self-immolations for Tibet

Kaslang Wandu was the first Tibetan to set himself alight inside Tibet since Tasha Kyi in August 2015. However, on 29 February, a 16-year-old Tibetan boy named Dorjee Tsering living in India also staged a self-immolation protest and is currently gravely ill in hospital.

More than 140 Tibetans have set themselves alight in Tibet in protest against China's occupation.

Flagrant abuse of human rights

Free Tibet director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said:

“News of Kalsang Wangdu’s self-immolation, coming on the same day that Dorjee Tsering set himself alight, must make the international community take notice of China’s repression in Tibet. These protests will only end when China addresses the grievances of the Tibetan people. Other governments, which consider themselves China’s friends and trading partners, cannot keep ignoring the flagrant abuse of human rights in Tibet or the fact that China’s repressive policies are still driving Tibetans to such an extreme form of protest.”

Mang Gha solo protest

Another protest in tibet

In other news, a Tibetan woman named Mang Gha was arrested on 1 March after carrying out a solo protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet. Mang Gha, aged 33, walked through the main street of Meruma in Ngaba Prefecture, Tibet, while holding a portrait of the Dalai Lama. She was arrested shortly after her protest and taken away by police. She is currently being held in an unknown location.

Take Action

Tibetans and supporters around the world will be standing in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet this March as they commemorate Tibetan Uprising Day; find out how you can get involved.

Since China invaded and occupied Tibet in 1950, over one million Tibetans have died. You can help to honour their memories by leaving a message in our White Lotus Book of Remembrance.