|Phayul[Tuesday, December 23, 2014 22:28]|
Kalsang Yeshi, a 37 year old Tibetan monk of Nyitso Monastery in Tawu in eastern Tibet, set himself on fire right in front of the police post in the premises of the monastery today around 11 AM (local time), said Lobsang Jinpa, a Tibetan from Tawu now residing in India.
Kalsang had studied at the Ganden Jhangste monastery in south India in the past after he left home in Thewa village in Kunor township, Tawu County, according to Jinpa, who accompanied him during his flight to exile. “I knew him very well. We came into exile together in 1997. I met him a few years ago when I went to Tibet,” said Jinpa.
Kalsang called for the return of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, said Jinpa, citing an eyewitness. Kalsang collapsed to the ground within minutes of sustaining severe burns.
Police have immediately taken away the charred body despite protests from the local Tibetans who appealed to the police to hand over the body to the family.
Kalsang was held in high esteem by the local Tibetans for his contribution towards the preservation of Tibetan culture and religion. He taught Tibetan and Buddhism to local Tibetans, especially elders and children, said Jinpa.
Authorities fear of more protests by the Tibetans who have gathered in huge numbers outside the police station. Communication lines have been cut off to monitor the tense situation in the area as the authorities fear more Tibetans will join in tomorrow.
Kalsang became 135th Tibetan to self immolate in protest against the Chinese government since 2009 and 116th to succumb to the burns. His self immolation is the third by a Tibetan in just less than a month.