DHARAMSHALA, January 10: The death toll in the fiery wave of self-immolations in Tibet since March 2011 has risen to ten with the deaths of Tsultrim, Tenyi, and Norbu Damdul.
File photo of Norbu Damdul, a former monk at Kirti Monastery who self immolated calling for 'complete independence for Tibet' on October 15, 2011. This photo was taken in 2009 when Norbu Damdul was still a monk.
Tsultrim and Tenyi, both around 20 years of age, had set their bodies on fire on January 6 at around 2:40 pm Tibet time in the distraught Ngaba region of eastern Tibet, which alone has witnessed ten instances of self-immolations since early last year.
Eyewitness accounts said that the two people, a monk and a layman, were together when they set themselves ablaze.
“With folded hands they faced towards Kirti Monastery and raised a number of slogans amongst which the audible ones were- ‘Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ and ‘We want the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet,’” a Tibetan in Bodh Gaya had said quoting eyewitnesses.
According to a release by the exile base of Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, Tenyi succumbed to his burn injuries shortly after Chinese security personnel arrested him on January 6.
Tslutrim passed away a day later in the night of January 7 under increased security restrictions in the region.
“Following their self-immolation, all the Tibetan shops and business were closed as a mark of respect and to show solidarity with the family of the two deceased,” the release said.
“However, as in earlier instances, local Tibetans were barred from visiting the families of the deceased to offer their condolences and prayers by the Chinese authorities.”
Norbu Damdul passes away
Norbu Damdul, a former monk of Kirti Monastery, who set himself on fire on October 15, 2011 passed away in a Chinese military hospital in Barkham, eastern Tibet on January 5, 2012.
His whereabouts remained known for nearly three months after Chinese security personnel arrested him following his self-immolation in the central town of Ngaba.
Norbu Damdul had raised slogans demanding ‘Complete Independence for Tibet’ and ‘Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet’ according to eyewitness accounts.
Kirti monastery in its release said that the Norbu Damdul’s family was denied the right to perform his last rites.
Since March 2011, 15 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.