Kanyak Tsering of the Indian branch of Kirti monastery told the Tibet Post, “Lobsang Konchok and Lobsang Kalsang, both aged around 18, self-immolated in their protest against the Chinese regime.” Kalsang is the brother of Phuntsok Jarutsang, who burned himself to death on 16 March 2011 in protest against China’s rule over Tibet.
“This morning at around 10:30 (Tibet local time),” said Ven. Tsering, “the monks from Kirti Monastery [in Tibet] set themselves on fire after a peaceful protest calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a free Tibet and religious freedom in Tibet, with chants of “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!”
Ven. Tsering said Chinese police and authorities tried to put out the flames then took the two monks away to an unknown location. According to eyewitnesses, one of the monks is feared to have died on the spot whilst the other remains in a critical condition.
Over the past two months, the Chinese court in Ngaba county has sentenced several monks from Kirti Monastery to lengthy prison terms after the authorities accused them of involvement in late Phuntsok’s death.
“Both of the monks joined Kirti Monastery at an early age. The situation in Ngaba county is still highly tense. A large number of armed military personnel have been deployed in Ngaba town and the area surrounding the monastery. Authorities have also cut off internet access and public telephone lines.”
Several other Tibetans in Ngaba county, including many monks, have been detained by the Chinese authorities in recent months and are said to be being brutally tortured despite being held without charge.