Teenage monk dies of burning protest; fate of body unknown

Kunchok Sonam, 18, died of  burning protest at Soktsang Village in Thangkor Township in Dzoege County.

Kunchok Sonam, 18, died of burning protest at Soktsang Village in Thangkor Township, Dzoege County.

A Tibetan monk, Kunchok Sonam, 18, died after setting himself on fire to protest China’s repressive policy in Dzoege (Ch: Ru’ergai) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

According to information received by TCHRD, on the morning of 20 July, Kunchok Sonam, a monk at Tashi Thekchokling Monastery in Dzoege County set himself alight and died shortly. Sources say the young monk had just finished his morning prayers and was on his way out of the monastery when he burned himself up in protest at around 8.30 am.

Sources  quote eyewitness accounts as saying that some fellow monks saw Kunchok Sonam on fire with both his hands clasped in a praying gesture. No one could make out the slogans he were shouting due to the strong flames. As soon as he fell on the ground, monks went near him but he had already died with his hands still folded in a praying gesture.  [Read more...]

Refugee Testimony: Former disciple of disappeared Buddhist scholar escapes Tibet

Tenzin Dawa (name changed), 36, is a Tibetan monk from Barmi Monastery in Tsongru (Ch: Chonger) Township of Dzoege (Ch: Ru’ergai) County, Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. Dzoege County has witnessed at least seven confirmed self-immolation protests so far.

Tenzin Dawa reached India early this month. He is also a former disciple of Gyen Kunchok Nyima, a Buddhist scholar and teacher at Drepung Monastery who went missing since April 2008 after his detention and subsequent sentencing to 20 years in prison. Tenzin Dawa says there are many disciples of Gyen Kunchok Nyima looking for information about the whereabouts of their teacher. No one knows where the Buddhist scholar is imprisoned or whether he is alive.

In his testimony to TCHRD, Tenzin Dawa recounts the current situation inside Tibet in particular his hometown in Dzoege where local Chinese authorities have planted spies in every village to monitor conversations and keep a strict watch over Tibetan activities, in an ongoing effort to prevent self-immolation and other protests.

The testimony also contains details on how Chinese authorities attempted to pressure local Tibetans to sign an official order that forbids any kind of activities to support or sympathise with self-immolation protests. [Read more...]

Two Tibetan monks die of self-immolation protest

Konchok Woeser, 23, died after setting himself on fire in protest against Chinese government.

Konchok Woeser, 23, died after setting himself on fire in protest against Chinese government.

Despite extreme measures implemented by the Chinese authorities to crack down on self-immolation protests, burning protests in Tibet continue unabated as two more Tibetans died yesterday after setting themselves on fire on the eve of the 24th birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Tibet’s XIth Panchen Lama, one of the most important Tibetan spiritual leaders who was disappeared along with his parents by the Chinese authorities almost 18 years ago.

According to confirmed information received by TCHRD, at around 6.40 pm on 24 April 2013, two monks of Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery set themselves on fire and died in Dzoege (Ch: Ruergai) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. [Read more...]

Two teenage Tibetans die of self-immolation protest

Two Tibetan youths died of self-immolation protest yesterday at Kyangtsa Township in Dzoege (Ch: Zoige/Ru’ergai) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

According to reliable information received by TCHRD, Rinchen, 17, and Sonam Dhargye, 18, set their bodies on fire to protest Chinese government repression at around 9.30 pm (local time) yesterday in Kyangtsa Township. Both hailed from Gardong Village in Kyangtsa Township. It is not known at the moment what slogans they shouted. Both died at the protest site and their bodies have been taken to their homes. [Read more...]