Defying official notice, three Tibetans die of self-immolation in Kanlho

Three Tibetans have died of burning protests in the last four days ignoring a 21 October notice issued by the prefectural government that offers rewards of 50,000 yuan (U.S. $7,913) for tipping off the Chinese government on “planning and abetment” of self-immolation protests in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP), Gansu Province.

In the past four days, Kanlho TAP witnessed three protest self-immolations at Luchu (Ch: Luqu), Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) and Tsoe (Ch: Hezuo) city.

On 29 November, at around 2.30 pm (local time), a father of two, Tsering Namgyal, 31, died after setting himself on fire near local government office in Samtsa Township in Luchu (Ch: Luqu) County. He burned himself near the Luchu County government office and shouted slogans against repressive policies of the Chinese government, sources said.

Namgyal’s body was taken to his home where a large number of lay Tibetans and monks from Rabgyeling Monastery and Mogru Monastery gathered to conduct prayers and cremation rituals.

Tsering Namgyal was born in Lotso nomadic camp in Samtsa Village in Sangkhog Township in Sangchu County. He is survived by his parents, wife, Choekyong Tso, and two daughters – Dorjee Kyi, 7, and Kalsang Dolma, 3.

In Tsoe city, Bhendey Khar, 21, died after setting himself on fire, at about 7 pm (local time) on 28 November. According to sources in Tibet, Bhendey Khar shouted for “ the return of the Dalai Lama, release of Panchen Lama, freedom for religion and language, and for freedom in Tibet” before succumbing to his injuries. Local Tibetans and monks gathered at Khar’s home to offer prayers and condolences. Khar is survived by his father Tsering Thar, his mother Kunsang Dolma and two siblings.

On 27 November, at about 11 pm (local time), Sangay Tashi, 18, died after setting his body on fire in Sangkhog Township in Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County.

Prior to his protest, Sangay called one of his brothers and told him he was going to burn his body for the cause of Tibet. He then switched off his phone even as his brother tried to tell him not to do it and to wait for him. Sangay’s family members arrived at the scene only to find him dead from burns.

Citing eyewitnesses, sources told TCHRD that Sangay shouted for “the return of the Dalai Lama, release of the Panchen Lama and other political prisoners.”

Sangay died at the spot close to where Tsewang Kyap aka Thupwang Kyap, had earlier self-immolated on 26 October. Namgyal left behind his parents and four siblings.

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