“Monk Burns to Protest Monastery Intrusion”

I don’t even know what to say anymore, this is getting closer and closer to one a day. Try to take a moment to remember how shocking the idea of a self-immolation in Tibet when this started, and realize that each one is a person deciding that burning to death makes more sense than living under the status quo. From RFA, the news that another Amdo/Qinghai lama has done it, in the previously-placid Tsonub (Chinese: Haixi) area:

Damchoe Sangpo, aged about 40 and a monk at the Bongtak monastery in Themchen county of the Tsonub (in Chinese, Haixi) prefecture, set himself ablaze at around 6:00 a.m. local time and died shortly afterward, an India-based senior Tibetan monk named Shingsa said, citing contacts in the region.

It was the 22nd confirmed self-immolation by Tibetans protesting Chinese policies and rule in Tibetan regions since a wave of the fiery protests began in February 2009.

“After the Tibetan New Year, which in Qinghai’s Amdo region coincides with the Chinese New Year, Chinese officials banned the [monastery’s] Monlam religious gathering and sent armed security forces there ,” Shingsa said.

“Damchoe objected to this, and told the Chinese officials that if they didn’t withdraw their troops from the monastery, the monks should not be held responsible for any incident that might follow,” he said.

“When monks came out of the temple after morning services, they saw Damchoe burning,” Shingsa said, adding, “He died on the spot.”

Damchoe Sangpo was the youngest of 10 siblings, of whom all the others were girls, Shingsa said.

“His father’s name is Taklha. His mother passed away when he was very young.”

Damchoe Sangpo, who was described by Shingsa as a “highly responsible person,” was ordained as a monk in 1991 and went to India in 1994.

“[Three years] later, he returned to Tibet and became the disciplinarian of the monastery. Before his death, he tutored the monks in religious texts.”

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Filed under ethnic conflict, Self-Immolation Crisis, Tibet

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