Another Self-Immolation in Rebkong; UN Chides China

News of the latest one, via ICT:

A young Tibetan man called Dorjee Lhundrup set fire to himself today in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) in Qinghai province, the Tibetan area of Amdo. Dorjee Lhundrup was a farmer in his mid-twenties from Chuma village in Rebkong. He had two children, a two-year old daughter and a four-year old son.

Dorjee Lhundrup self-immolated on the morning of November 4 on Taglung South Street, some kilometers west of Rongwo monastery. He died immediately afterwards.

According to a Tibetan in exile who is in contact with Tibetans in the area: “Many people gathered in the place where he set fire to himself, and then a number of monks went there too. They protected his corpse from Chinese police and troops, and brought him to the monastery where monks and laypeople prayed for him. His father spoke, and many people were crying. Dorjee Lhundrup was cremated on the side of a hill behind the monastery. Traditionally only high lamas were cremated there. Sonam Dargye, who self-immolated in March, was also cremated there.”

RFA reports that large protests followed, and has a few pictures that you should click through to see:

Thousands of Tibetans staged protests against Chinese rule after another self-immolation death Sunday in a Tibetan-populated area in Qinghai province, triggering a massive security buildup, according to sources.

The dawn self-immolation attracted a large crowd of monks and residents to the township, with many of them placing the “khata,” the traditional Tibetan scarf, on his charred remains as a mark of respect for the father of two, one source said.

Later, several thousand Tibetans converged at a hill site near the key Rongwo monastery as Dorje Dhondup’s body was taken there for prayers and immediate cremation to prevent the Chinese authorities from interfering with funeral rites, the source said.

“People shouted ‘Kyi! Kyi!,’ a Tibetan battle cry, and others raised slogans at the Dhongya-la cremation site where thousands of people gathered to mourn and pay their respect for the deceased and stand in solidarity with the family of Dorjee Dhondup,” the source said.

His family members pleaded with the crowd to end the protest for fear over their safety, saying Dorje Lungdup set fire to himself to “protect Tibet’s interest” and underscore demands for the return of the Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile in India since 1958 following a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

“Soon after the self immolation incident, security forces poured into the town and patrolled the streets and the situation was tense,” according to the source.

This comes just days after the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights finally weighed in on the situation:

“Social stability in Tibet will never be achieved through heavy security measures and suppression of human rights,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a rare statement critical of China.

Pillay “urged Chinese authorities to promptly address the longstanding grievances that have led to an alarming escalation in desperate forms of protest, including self-immolations in Tibetan areas”.

She also urged the government to respect the rights to peaceful assembly and expression and to release all those detained for exercising those rights.

The Chinese foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment.

I shouldn’t think it would be.

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Filed under Self-Immolation Crisis, Tibet

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