Friday 20 April 2012

Video clip shows police kicking burning Tibetan man

Phayul[Wednesday, April 18, 2012 13:18]
A screen grab of the video clip showing Losang Jamyang's body engulfed in flames in Ngaba on January 14, 2012. (ICT)
A screen grab of the video clip showing Losang Jamyang's body engulfed in flames in Ngaba on January 14, 2012. (ICT)
DHARAMSHALA, April 18: China’s inhuman brutality and total disregard for Tibetan life are at full display in a 45-second video clip released Tuesday by an overseas Tibet group.

The dramatic visuals (viewer discretion advised) show Chinese security personnel mercilessly knocking down and kicking a Tibetan self-immolator while his body is still on fire. There have been several other reports of similar instances where Chinese security forces have brutally beaten and maimed Tibetan self-immolators.

The footage has been shot on January 14 in Ngaba, eastern Tibet and documents the self-immolation protest of Losang Jamyang, 22, a former monk at the Andu monastery in Ngaba.

The self-immolation protest had led to public demonstrations and police firing in which a number of Tibetans were injured, some severely, including a woman who was blinded and a man who sustained a severe injury to his neck from a metal prod used by police.

Lobsang Jamyang, a leading member of a popular association for the promotion of Tibetan language in his village doused himself in petrol inside a public toilet cubicle at an intersection in Ngaba county town and set himself on fire. He then walked on to the street shouting slogans for the long life of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet.

The footage released by the Washington based International Campaign for Tibet, begins with the flames on Losang Jamyang’s body having seemingly died down and armed police and Tibetans gathered around the body.

A few seconds later, sound of tear-gas being fired to disperse the crowd can be heard. Later, police opened fire on the crowd, which is not seen in the clip.

In a fiery turn of event, flames once again leap up from Losang Jamyang’s body, almost 10 seconds into the clip. Now enveloped in flames, Losang Jamyang stands up and leaps around as Tibetan onlookers scream and cry out. A Tibetan voice could be heard, fervently praying "Gyalwang Tenzin Gyatso! Gyalchen Dorje Hwaltsal!" Gyalwang Tenzin Gyatso is the name of the Dalai Lama. Gyalchen Dorje Hwaltsal is a protector of Kirti monastery

Losang Jamyang in an undated photo. (Photo/Kirti Monastery)
Losang Jamyang in an undated photo. (Photo/Kirti Monastery)
Immediately, Chinese armed police and special police forces are seen rushing into the frame. A few seconds later, a policeman uses a pushcart to knock Losang Jamyang to the ground and as he falls, police on either side can be seen kicking him before they decide to extinguish the flames a second time.

Although it is not exactly clear how Losang Jamyang’s body once again caught fire, but observers believe that he could have drunk petrol or worn clothes heavily doused with petrol and the fire had not been completely extinguished the first time.

Local Tibetans, angered by what they had witnessed, gather around and try to prevent the Chinese security forces from taking away Losang Jamyang just before the clip abruptly ends.

According to the exile base of the Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, Chinese security personnel responded by arresting and beating people at random with spiked clubs and opening fire on the crowd. Scores of Tibetans were severely injured and one woman was blinded.

Losang Jamyang passed away on January 16 in Barkham, Ngaba.

His relatives in exile told ICT that after the self-immolation, police visited Losang Jamyang's family and demanded payment for fire damage to police uniforms, which were described as "state property."

“This is gut wrenching. The more I look at China’s unimaginable brutality on the Tibetan people, the more I am convinced that I will never be able to live under this same communist regime,” Woedhen, a Tibetan college student told Phayul after watching the clip.

Since 2009, the wave of self-immolations in Tibet has witnessed 33 Tibetans set their bodies on fire demanding the return the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.

“This is not the first time that Chinese police have used force against Tibetan self-immolators,” Lobsang Yeshi, a Tibetan member of parliament told Phayul. “Pawo Tapey was shot at and others were mercilessly beaten under the garb of extinguishing their flames. This video clip throws light on the dark age of China's uncivilised and barbaric rule over Tibet.”

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