An 18-yr-old Tibetan monk has died of self-immolation protest today at Barkham County in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.
Lobsang Lozin, the teenage monk from Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery in Barkham, set himself on fire at around 12 pm (Tibet Time) on the central ground in front of the main prayer hall of the monastery. While still in flames, he walked a few steps towards the local government office but fell down, unable to go further. Sources said he died on the spot.
Sources also said Lobsang Lozin was shouting many slogans but it is still not clear what these slogans were. Fellow monks then took Lobsang’s body inside the monastery where prayers and rituals for the deceased are still being held at the time of reporting. Sources said Lobsang will be cremated later in the evening.
Following the self-immolation, a large number of security personnel including People’s Armed Police came rushing towards the monastery but were met with strong resistance from the local Tibetans who tried to stop the security personnel at the bridge near the monastery. It is feared that the tense stand-off between the security personnel and local Tibetans might get worse.
Losang Lozin belonged to the Khargotsang household at Sholachang village in Gyalrong Tsodun Township, Barkham County, Ngaba Prefecture. He is the son of father Jorgyal and mother Tsepopo. Lobsang Lozin became a monk at the Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery, also called Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Geden Tashi Choeling Monastery, at a young age. Sources with contacts in the region say Lobsang Lozin was an exemplary student with excellent track record in his monastic studies.
Lobsang Lozin became the third monk from Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery to die of self-immolation protest. On 30 March 2012, two monks from the same monastery, Chime Palden (21) and Tenpa Dhargyal (22), set themselves on fire in protest over Chinese policies in Barkham County. Chime Palden died a day after the immolation while Tenpa Dhargyal died a week after.
Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti monastery is located some 80 kilometers away in the north of Barkham County town. It is one of the biggest Gelugpa monasteries in Gyalrong region and has over 300 monks.
Lobsang Lozin became the 26th Tibetan to self-immolate in Ngaba Prefecture.