Two more Tibetans self-immolate; hunger strikes and protests reported across Tibet

Sangay Tashi

At least two more people are dead in the ongoing wave of self-immolation protests against China’s occupation of Tibet. Voice of America reports that an 18-year-old man named Sangay Tashi set himself on fire late Tuesday evening in Sangchu, Eastern Tibet, while shouting slogans for Tibetan independence and the return of the Dalai Lama. He died at the scene. Phayul reports that he called a relative and told them of his plans to self-immolate, and shut off his phone before the relative could say anything. By the time his family arrived at the scene of his fiery protest, he was already dead. He leaves behind his parents and four siblings.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kalsang Kyab, 24, self-immolated in front of a Chinese government office in Kangtsa, in the Ngaba region of Tibet. He died at the scene, and monks from a nearby monastery carried his body to his native village a few kilometers away. He leaves behind his parents and six siblings.

Meanwhile, new reports say that a man named Tsegyu, who self-immolated in Driru, Tibet on November 7, died from his injuries on November 18. Tsegyu was held in police custody and reportedly denied medical treatment for his burns. And on Wednesday, a Tibetan man in Delhi doused himself with gasoline at a rally for Tibetan freedom, but other protesters prevented him from lighting himself on fire. He was held by police and released after the rally.

In solidarity with the immolations, a group of 60 Tibetans across Tibet and China have started a hunger strike. Phayul reports that the strikers, who include writers, monks, businesspeople, and government officials, have been offering prayers for the self-immolators. Meanwhile, a medical school in Chabcha, Tibet, has been locked down after student protesters clashed with police. At least five students were seriously injured, and three have been arrested.

At least 87 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009, including 25 this month alone. Click here for all of Buddhadharma News‘ coverage of the protests.