Young mother-of-two, monk take Tibet self-immolations count to 46

TibetanReview.net, Aug08, 2012

 

Tibetan in exile nuns and monks participate in 24-hour hunger strike for victims of a Chinese crackdown in Ngaba in 2011 (AFP/File, Prakash Mathema)

Two more self-immolations in two days in Tibet have taken to 46 the number of Tibetans who have staged such suicide protests against Chinese rule since Feb 2009. The latest incidents involved a young monk of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County of Sichuan Province and a young mother of two in Tsoe (Chinese: Hezuo) County of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province.

Dolkar Tso, a 26-year-old mother of two, died after setting herself on fire near a stupa at Tsoe Gaden Choeling Monastery at around 2.30 pm. RFA.org (Radio Free Asia, Washington) Aug 7 cited sources as saying she took off her clothes and burned herself as she kept shouting slogans calling for Tibet’s freedom and the Dalai Lama’s return from exile.

Tibetan devotees circumambulating the monastery were reported to have put out the fire but a barely alive Dolkar Tso asked monks who rushed to try to save her to end her life in order that the Chinese may not get hold of her alive. Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said Aug 7 the monks took her to hospital but she could not be saved there. They then took her body to her native village of Tasur in Nawu Township, located around 10 kilometres from Tsoe City. People were reported to be flocking both to Tasur Village and at Tso Monastery to offer prayers.

Dolkar Tso leaves behind a four-year old son and a two-year old daughter. ICIT cited sources as saying that two days before the self-immolation, both she and her husband were seen praying at every shrine in the monastery and both of them going to Dolkar’s birth village rather than their home located in another village.

China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 8 reported the self-immolation but maintained that “Drung Gertso” (ie, Dolkar Tso) “had intermittent mental disease” and was estranged from both her and her husband’s families and committed suicide on account of it. It said she had worked for five months after this year’s Chinese Spring Festival in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

* * *
Dolkar Tso’s self-immolation protest came a day after monk Lobsang Tsultrim, 21, of Kirti Monastery immolated himself on the main Ngaba county highway running lust below his monastery. The monk was reported to have staged the fiery suicide protest just after 5:00 pm, shouting slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s return from exile and for the reuniting of the Tibetans in Tibet and in exile. He attempted to walk along the street – which is referred to by the local Tibetans as “Heroes’ (or Martyrs’) Street” because many of the past self-immolation protests by Tibetans had taken place on it – towards the office building of the Forestry Department before he fell to the ground.

Some reports said, however, that paramilitary police knocked him to the ground and quickly put out the flames before throwing him in a vehicle and driving him away. With more police than local residents reported to be present at the scene, there was no chance for the Tibetan people to take custody of the monk. Initially kept briefly at the Ngaba County hospital, his conditions and whereabouts now remain unknown.

Dharamsala-based Tibetan centre for Human Rights and Democracy Aug 8 said the monk was detained and suffered severe beating at the hand of the Chinese police during the suppression of the Mar-Apr 2008 Tibetan uprising protests. A classmate of monk Lobsang Phuntsok who staged a self-immolation protest and died in 2011, Lobsang Phutnsok is said to be fond of playing basketball and is a member of a local team.

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