Tibetan man dies of self-immolation protest, family members detained for demanding return of body

Charred remains of Tashi Rabten
Charred remains of Tashi Rabten

A Tibetan man named Tashi Rabten, 31, died of self-immolation protest yesterday at around 6.15 pm local time in Machu (Ch: Maqu) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. 

Tashi Rabten staged the burning protest on the street of the local vegetable market in Machu County town. It is the same spot where Tashi’s cousin Tsering Kyi, a 20-yr old student who also died after burning her body to protest the Chinese government. Both Tashi and Kyi’s fathers are brothers.

Citing an eyewitness, a source told TCHRD that Tashi shouted slogans such as “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years” and “Let His Holiness return to Tibet”. Tashi did not survive the self-immolation. His charred remains were taken by the County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers. Today, Tashi’s family members approached the PSB office to demand the return of Tashi’s body.

Latest information confirms that Tashi’s family members including his wife, two children and other relatives have been detained by the county police.

Tashi had doused his body with petrol in a public toilet near the vegetable market. He was then seen setting himself alight as he walked along the wall adjacent to the vegetable market. He continued shouting the slogans and later collapsed to the ground.

Tashi Rabten is a native of Dragtho Ruchen Teushul Village, Trokho Meyma Township, Machu County. He is the son of Mr Tenbey and late Mrs Dolkar Kyi.

This is the 146th self-immolation that took place inside Tibet since February 2009.

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