08/08/2020

Another father of two dies in burning protest

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Dorjee Rinchen
Dorjee Rinchen

Another Tibetan layman who was a father of two died of self-immolation in Labrang (Chinese: Xiahe) County in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.

Dorjee Rinchen, 58, set himself on fire at around 3.30 pm (local time) on 23 October in Labrang town. The protest was staged on the main street of Labrang town. Sources told TCHRD that the protest took place in front of the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) office, but other sources have reported that it occurred “near the military camp” in the area. Dorjee Rinchen died soon after.

The local security forces and police arrived on the scene and tried to take away Rinchen’s body but the local Tibetan people resisted the attempt. A clash ensued as local Tibetans and security forces resisted each other’s attempts to take control of the body. Later, the local people managed to take Rinchen’s body to his home.

Dorjee Rinchen
Dorjee Rinchen

After learning about the burning protest, monks from Labrang Monastery rushed to the deceased’s home to offer prayers. But they were stopped on the way by local security forces and PSB officers. The monks were forced to hold prayers on the roadside.

Sources say that on the day of the self-immolation, Dorje Rinchen woke up early in the morning, cleaned his room and visited Labrang Monastery to offer prayers. Later in the evening, he went to the local PSB office and set himself on fire.

Dorjee Rinchen left behind a wife, Lhuthar Tso and two children, a son called Tabou and a daughter named Rigzin Tso.