“Town Mourns Over Self-Immolation”

RFA has an update on the Ngaba situation, where the town is still reeling from the latest self-immolations:

A town in southwestern Sichuan province which has become the focus of Tibetan self-immolation protests was at a near standstill as people mourned the death of one of two teenagers who set themselves alight in protest against Chinese rule, sources said Monday.

Residents of Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) shut down their shops and restaurants for three days from Saturday following the self-immolation on Friday of Khaying, 18, and Choephel, 19, both from Kirti monastery under siege by Chinese authorities.

Following Khaying’s death, “all the Tibetan shops and restaurants in Ngaba area closed their shutters and paid respect to the protesters,” a Tibetan from Ngaba, who chose to remain anonymous, told RFA.

Most of the Ngaba residents also visited temples and monasteries “to pray for the deceased soul and the prayers continued for three days,” said Kanyag Tsering, a monk at Kirti’s sister monastery in Dharamsala in northern India.

Khaying’s family was allowed to invite only five monks to perform the last rites.

“Around 10 Chinese [security officials] were put on guard outside his house. Friends and supporters who wanted to reach the family of Khaying to pay their condolences were barred from visiting the family,” Tsering said.

On Monday, Kirti monastery monks wanted to approach Khaying’s family to offer prayers but “the elders from their clan requested the monks not go to Khaying’s house because the Chinese had threatened to create problems for the family,” Tsering said.

“So, the monks prayed from afar.”

Khaying had said before setting fire to himself that he wanted to sacrifice his life “for the cause of Tibet” and called on the people of Ngaba “not to worry about his death,” Tsering said.


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Filed under ethnic conflict, Tibet

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