2012 deaths of Tibetan monk and nun officially ruled self-immolations

The number of Tibetans who have self-immolated in protest of Chinese occupation since 2009 has grown to at least 113, as the deaths of a Tibetan monk and nun last year have officially been ruled immolations.

Tulku Athup (also known as Thupten Nyendak Rinpoche), 45, and his niece, 23-year-old nun Atse, died on April 6, 2012, when a fire broke out inside Tulku Athup’s hut at Dzogchen Monastery, in Kham, Eastern Tibet. Before the fire, Tulku Athup called family members, telling them he was ending his life by offering butter lamps for the other Tibetans who had self-immolated for Tibet’s cause. Fearing repercussions from the Chinese government, monastery officials told police the two had died in an accidental house fire. The Central Tibet Administration confirmed Wednesday that Tulku Athup and Atse deliberately set themselves on fire.

Though exact tallies vary, at least 113 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009. Click here to see all of Buddhadharma News’ coverage of the protests.