Monk dies in latest self-immolation protest in Tibet

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

4 December 2012

29-year-old Lobsang Gedun has been confirmed by Free Tibet as the latest Tibetan to set himself on fire in the current wave of protests against the Chinese occupation. A monk at the Penak monastery, Lobsang Gedun self-immolated at a busy intersection in Pema County town, Eastern Tibet (1).

The protest took place at 7.45pm (local time) yesterday (3 December).

Chinese security personnel were prevented from taking Lobsang Gedun by members of the local community who returned his body to the monastery. The situation in the town is described by local witnesses as “tense”.

More than 90 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire since March 2011 (2). Tibetans from all walks of life, including teenagers and mothers of young children, have resorted to self-immolation. Survivors of self-immolation protests taken by the authorities frequently disappear completely and families and the local community are denied access.

Since the beginning of November, confirmed self-immolation protests have become a near daily occurrence, with 28 Tibetans confirmed to have set themselves on fire. Other forms of protest including marches, individual demonstrations and fasts in solidarity are escalating within Tibet.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“Self-immolations in Tibet are the acts of people denied legal recourse and political power and subjected to relentless state oppression by an occupying force. The question now is, when will the international community respond to this crisis? Given the recent revelation that even UK government ministers have privately declared British policy on Tibet to be ‘whatever China wants it to be’, it is time for David Cameron and other world leaders to make the rights of the Tibetan people their priority, rather than appeasing China.”(3)

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. Chinese: Banma county, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

2. See full list at http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet

3. Private letter from Norman Baker MP and Tim Loughton MP to David Cameron, July 2012, reported in The Daily Telegraph 3 December 2012 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/tibet/9718389/In-full-Norman-Baker-Tim-Loughton-letter-to-David-Cameron-complaining-about-Dalai-Lama-ban.html

Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.

For interviews and further information please contact Free Tibet’s Director Stephanie Brigden:
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