Another self-immolation in Tibet; witnesses to the protest arrested

Exiled community vigil. Photo via Tibet Post International.

Tsewang Dorjee, a 22-year-old Tibetan man, has died after self-immolating in Dhamshung region on July 7. According to different sources, either 43 or 45 Tibetans have set themselves afire to protest Chinese rule since 2009. Tibet Post International (TPI) reports that the region where the protest took place is now under lockdown, and those who witnessed the self-immolation have been arrested. Chinese authorities have issued orders prohibiting anyone from discussing the most recent protest.

TPI says, “This is the longest string of self-immolations that has occurred in history. Tibetans have set themselves ablaze to protest against China’s repressive policies, demand freedom in Tibet and call for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.”

On the evening of July 10, the Tibetan Women’s Association and the Tibetan Youth Congress put together a candlelight vigil in Dharamsala to remember the life of Dorjee and all of the others who have self-immolated. Speaking to a crowd of about 100,¬†Tsering Yanchen (Vice-President of the regional Tibetan Youth Congress) said, “As the count of self-immolations increases, the pressure rises on Hu Jintao’s government who is already so insecure in Tibet and has completely lost confidence of the people they are ruling over. The international community who trade with China must bear responsibility to increasing suffering of the Tibetans in Chinese occupied Tibet.”