Breaking: Two fiery protests in as many days, Tibetan self-immolator passes away

Phayul[Monday, February 25, 2013 15:32]

DHARAMSHALA, February 25: In more alarming reports coming out of Tibet, another Tibetan, who is a close relative of a Tibetan self-immolator, set himself on fire today protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

Tsezung Kyab, 27, torched himself in front of the main prayer hall of the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu region of eastern Tibet at around 1:30 pm (local time). He passed away at his protest site, the same place where his cousin Pema Dorjee, 23, passed away in his self-immolation protest on December 8, 2012.

At the time of filing this report, additional details on today’s protest are awaited.

This is the second self-immolation protest in Tibet in as many days. Yesterday, Phagmo Dhondup, a Tibetan in his 20’s set himself ablaze near the Jhakhyung Monastery in Palung region of eastern Tibet. His condition and whereabouts are not known. Today is Choenga Choepa (Butter Lamp Festival), the 15th day of the first month of Tibetan new year considered auspicious by Tibetans for performing religious rituals.

According to Lhamo Kyab, a Tibetan living in Dharamshala, Tsezung Kyab is the first cousin of Tibetan self-immolator Pema Dorjee.

“Tsezung Kyab made the ultimate sacrifice for Tibet little more than two months after his cousin Pema Dorjee passed away in his fiery protest at almost the same place,” Lhamo said. “Their mothers are real sisters.”

In a photo sent to Phayul by the same source, the body of Tsezung Kyab can be seen engulfed in towering flames. Despite strict government orders against public display of solidarity with the self-immolators, several people can be seen surrounding the deceased’s body.

Pema Dorjee set himself on fire on December 8, 2012 outside the Shitsang Monastery raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, independence of Tibet, unity among Tibetans and for the land of Tibet to be ruled by Tibetans.

Timing his protest on Gaden Ngamchoe, the day marked as the Parinirvana of Je Tsongkhapa, the great 14th century Tibetan Buddhist master, a large number of gathered Tibetans had witnessed his protest.

The unprecedented wave of Tibet self-immolations has witnessed 106 Tibetans living under China’s rule set themselves on fire since 2009. The self-immolators have demanded the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.