Friday 1 June 2012

Thousands attend Rikyo’s funeral

Phayul[Thursday, May 31, 2012 21:24]
DHARAMSHALA, May 31: Rikyo, the mother of three, who set herself ablaze yesterday in Zamthang, eastern Tibet was given a grand funeral ceremony by local Tibetans at around 11 pm (local time) later that day.

Although, the area near the Jonang Zamthang Gonchen monastery, the place of the funeral, was under heavy Chinese security surveillance, thousands of Tibetans gathered to pay their last respects.

The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration, in a release today, said that the local Tibetans had to carry out Rikyo’s cremation in haste as the Chinese authorities had threatened to take the body into their custody.

“The cremation was carried out near the monastery at around 11:00 pm last night,” CTA said. “Over 5,000 local Tibetans, including monks of Zamthang Monastery, gathered at the funeral.”

According to sources, the gathered Tibetans prayed till 3 in the morning under inclement weather.

The mother of three young children, all under the age of ten, Rikyo torched herself to death in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet on Wednesday at around 3 pm (local time), near the Jonang Zamthang Gonchen monastery in Zamthang (Ch: Rangtang) county, in the distraught Ngaba region, the nerve centre of the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet.

The Tibetan Women’s Association, in a release today grieved Rikyo’s death and noted that six Tibetan women have set themselves on fire in the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet, including two mothers.

“TWA pays tribute to Rikyo’s sacrifice and deem her act as the ultimate form of non-violent protest,” the release said.

Since 2009, 38 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.

Rikyo’s self-immolation, the fourth in Zamthang alone, came just three days after two young Tibetan men set themselves on fire in heart of Tibet’s capital Lhasa.

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