Tibetan monk self-immolates to protest Chinese rule

On 15 August 2011, at around 12.30 pm (local time), 29 yrs old monk Tsewang Norbu of Nyitso Monastery in Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) self-immolated to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet and ill treatment of the local Tibetans by the Chinese authorities. For ten minutes, Tsewang Norbu raised slogans of ‘Freedom in Tibet’ and the ‘Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet’ while scattering leaflets with similar messages at Chume Bridge in the centre of Tawu, before burning himself with petrol.

Since 6 July, there have been severe restrictions and strict vigilance of the area, after local Tibetans defied government orders joined the celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday which was headed by nuns of Gaden Jangchup Choeling Nunnery. Chinese authorities have cut down water and electricity supply to Gaden Choeling Nunnery and Nyitso Monastery since the celebration last month.

After fellow monks of the monastery carried back the body of Tsewang Norbu to the monastery to perform the last rites and rituals, Chinese troops tried to forcibly take the body from the monks.

Sources say that thousands of Chinese troops have been deployed in and around the monastery and armed guards can be seen everywhere on the street, on the road and in Tibetan neighborhood of Tawu. Restrictions on movements of local Tibetans and communications via telephone and internet have been severely tightened.

This is the second incident of a Tibetan monk’s self immolation since 16 March this year in Tibet when monk Phuntsok self immolated for similar reason. Such acts of protests, in order to free oneself from Chinese rule, prove how miserable and extremely difficult Chinese authorities have made the lives of Tibetans in Tibet that they are forced to take their own lives.

TCHRD is deeply concerned about the conditions of Tibetans in Tibet, including Kardze. The Center appeals International Human Rights bodies, the United Nations, the European Union and others to intervene in order to improve the human rights situation of Tibet under China.

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