གཟའ་པ་སངས། ༢༠༢༣/༡༢/༠༡

Two Tibetans Self-Immolate in Zamthang

Two lay Tibetans in their 20s set themselves on fire today around 1 pm local time to protest China’s repressive policies in the Tibetan regions.
Choephag Kyab and Sonam self-immolated themselves in front of Jonang Zamthang monastery in Barma township of Zamthang county, Ngaba Prefecture in eastern Tibet.

According to eyewitnesses, local people took the two away. Sources in India who have contacts in the region say the two have succumbed to their burns.

On February 19, another Tibetan from Zamthang monastery died of self-immolation. 18-year-old Nangdrol set himself ablaze calling for the long life of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibet.

The latest self-immolations bring the number of Tibetans who set themselves ablaze in Ngaba prefecture since March last year to 25. More than 35 Tibetans are confirmed to have self-immolated from Tibetan populated regions in China since February 2009.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, recently told reporters there are indications that China is ready to push through political reforms in Tibet.

“I think here, one hopeful sign is that Wen Jiabao, last few years, in numbers of locations he expressed that People's Republic of China needs some political reform and in one location he even extended that China needs the western style of democracy.”

The Chinese government has described the self-immolations as barbaric and terrorists acts. It accuses overseas groups and the Dalai Lama of inciting separatism. Beijing also has also portrayed those who have set themselves on fire as outcasts and criminals.