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Second monk dies after self-immolation protest PDF Print E-mail
[16 August 2011] Tsewang Norbu died on 15 August after setting himself on fire outside local government buildings in Tawu, Kardze in Sichuan province. Tsewang Norbu, from Nyitso monastery in Tawu, self-immolated in protest against China's oppressive policies. The Chinese authorities have since placed Tawu under military lockdown and cut off Nyitso monastery which is surrounded by armed police and soldiers.

Click here to take action and help ensure Tsewang's sacrifice was not in vain.

Three arrested as Tawu placed under military lockdown
Tsweang Norbu[1 September 2011] Three Tibetans have been arrested following the death of Tsewang Norbu, the monk who immolated himself in protest against China's oppression in Tibet. The town of Tawu has been placed under military lockdown with tanks outside Nyitso Monastery and armed soldiers patrolling the area.

According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) Norbu from Rinah Lungpa, Tawu was arrested in Siyo near Chengdu on 19 August. Gyaltsen from Nyeshap village, Tawu was arrested on 21 August in Chengdu city, and an unidentified Tibetan was arrested on 22 August. The charges though not known, are believed to be connected to Tsewang Norbu's protest.

A large number of armed police and security personel have arrived in Tawu since Tsewang Norbu's death. One source quoted by the news service Phayul said, "Thousands of soldiers are keeping a tight vigil on Nyitso monastery. Chinese tanks and cannons have been deployed on the mountains facing Nyitso monastery." Reports also indicate that the monks of Nyitso monastery are being regularly interrogated and the Chinese authorities are questioning every household in the area.
Further reading: TCHRDPhayul

Second monk dies after self-immolation protest
[16 August 2011] A second monk has died in eastern Tibet after self-immolating in protest against China's oppressive policies. Tsewang Norbu died on 15 August after setting himself on fire outside local government buildings in Tawu in Sichuan province.

Tsewang Norbu, a  29 year-old monk from Nyitso monastery in Tawu, Kardze prefecture (Ch: Daofu, Ganzi), Sichuan province, began his protest at approximately 12.30pm near a bridge in front of local government buildings. Sources said he shouted slogans including "We Tibetan people want freedom", "Long live the Dalai Lama" and "Let the Dalai Lama Return to Tibet". He also distributed leaflets before pouring kerosene over his body and setting himself on fire. He then continued to shout slogans for about 15 minutes before he died at the scene.

Chinas official Xinhua news agency confirmed the incident but said it was "unclear" why the death had occurred.

Following the incident, thousands of
local Tibetans are reported to have gone to the monastery to support the monks and to try and prevent any disturbances.

Security in the area has been tighented since the self-immolation. Roadblocks have been set up around Tawu, and schools, restaurants and cafes have shut. Latest reports indicate that phone lines and internet access have been cut off to the region. The situation in Tawu has been described as "very tense".

AFP reported a monk from the monastery saying, "There are at least 1,000 soldiers and police guarding the monastery and about 100 monks inside. The power and water have been cut off for days, and we have no food supplies coming in." Local authorities cut power and water supplies to the monastery after the monks celebrated the Dalai Lama's birthday on 6 July despite a ban on such festivities.

Monks at Nyitso monastery have refused to give up Tsewang's body despite demands by local authorities. According to Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), Lui Dao Ping, the Party Secretary of Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture arrived in Tawu on 16 August and demanded the monks end the religious ceremonies and rituals for Tsewang Norbu and dispose the body.

Tsewang Norbu is the second monk to die this year following self-immolation in protest against Chinese rule. Phuntsok, a monk from Kirti, died on 16 March from burns after he set himself on fire. In the days following, two local Tibetans died in protests and 300 monks were forcibly removed from Kirti monastery. The town of Ngaba and the monastey remain under military lockdown.

Further reading: ICT I TCHRD I AFP I Reuters I Radio Free Asia
New York Times: The Myth of Socialist Paradise (16 Aug) An opinion piece by newly appointed Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay on the reasons why Tsewang Norbu took his own life in such a dramatic and horrific manner.


Take Action
Send a message to the Chinese Ambassador in the UK
► express your sadness at the news of the death of Tsewang Norbu, a young monk who took desperate measures to let the world know about the oppression Tibetans are experiencing living under Chinese rule;
condemn the reaction of the Chinese government in placing Tawu and Nyitso monastery under military lockdown;
call on the Chinese government to immediately remove armed personnel from Tawu and Ngaba and to release all those detained.

Write to: Mr Liu Xiaoming
Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL

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If you receive a response from the Chinese Ambassador, please let us know as this will help us to monitor the situation.

Click here to see photos from vigil held in London on 18 August.



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