16/12/2019

Former monk disciplinarian dies of self-immolation

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A former monk disciplinarian at Bongtak Monastery has died of self-immolation in Tso-ngon (Ch: Qinghai) Province.

On 17 February 2012 at around 6 a.m (Tibet Time) Damchoe Sangpo, a monk from Themchen County of the Tsonub (Ch: Haixi) and Mongol Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, set himself on fire. Sources say he died shortly afterwards.

Damchoe Sangpo, aged around 40, was a monk from Bongtak Monastery, also called Bongtak Ewam Tare Shedrup Dhargey Ling Monastery. He had objected to police intrusion in the monastery’s religious activities and had requested the officers to leave the monastery. It is said that he had also warned the officers that if any issue arises in the future, the Chinese government will be responsible.

Earlier, around the Chinese New Year days, security was increased in the monastery, resulting in severe restrictions on monastic activities. An order was also issued against holding the Monlam festival.

Bongtak monastery, which has around 80 monks, is now subject to tight security restrictions. Phone lines in the area have been cut off.

Damchoe Sangpo was a former disciplinarian, a member of the Discipline Management Committee and a teacher at Bongtak. He was the only son of father Taklha and the youngest of 10 siblings.