Self-immolation at prayer ceremony underlines escalating tension in Tibet

Monday, 12 November 2012

Nyingkar Tashi, a Tibetan in his mid-20s, set fire to himself at 3:30pm local time today in Dowa Township, Rebkong County, Eastern Tibet (1). Nyingkar Tashi set himself on fire during a prayer ceremony for Tamdin Tso, a young mother who self-immolated in the area on 7 November (2). Nyingkar Tashi called out for freedom in Tibet and for the long life of the Dalai Lama; he is reported to have died.

Nyingkar Tashi is the seventh Tibetan to set themselves on fire in the past six days, and the third from Dowa Township in the same period (3). Thousands have taken to the streets to protest China’s occupation in Rongwo, the capital of Rebkong County. There are large numbers of security forces present in both Rongwo and Dowa Township where today’s self-immolation took place.

Two days earlier, on 10 November, 23-year-old Gonpo Tsering died after setting fire to himself in nearby Sangchu County. Gonpo Tsering called for freedom for Tibet, freedom of language and the return of the Dalai Lama as he set himself on fire.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“Throughout the 18th Party Congress the new unelected leaders have been reminded on an almost daily basis of Tibetans’ rejection of Chinese rule, and of the terrible failure of policies to cement the occupation.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

1) Chinese: Tongren, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

2) Free Tibet press release detailing the self-immolation of the nomadic woman: http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/tibetan-nomadic-woman-sets-fire-herself

3) Free Tibet press releases detailing recent protests: http://freetibet.org/news-media/press-releases

4) Full list of Tibetan self-immolations: http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet

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:
E: stephanie@freetibet.org
M: +44 7951 479 515
T: +44 207 324 4605