Tibetans shot at demonstration following self-immolation
[19 January 2012] UPDATE: The Tibetan who self-immolated and died on 14 January has been named as 21-year old Lobsang Jamyang. He was from Shewa village in the Andu area of Ngaba, eastern Tibet (Sichuan province), and had previously been a monk at Andu monastery. Lobsang was also a leading member of a popular assocaition which promoted the Tibetan language, and as a result had faced pressure from local authorities.
On 14 January, at approximately 1.30pm, the former monk (pictured right) doused himself in petrol, set himself alight and walked into the street, near Kirti monastery in Ngaba town. During his protest Lobsang was heard to be calling for freedom in Tibet and ''May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live thousands of years''.
Witnesses said that police began to kick Lobsang and beat him with clubs spiked with nails before trying to extinguish the flames. Some witnesses believed Lobsang had died at the scene, but recent reports say he was still alive when he was taken away by the police and that he died two days later on 16 January.
In response to the police actions, up to 700 Tibetans gathered in protest. As well as beating demonstrators, the police are reported to have used tear gas and opened fire on the crowd. Several Tibetans were seriously injured and the Tibetan government in exile reported that a Tibetan woman died after being shot. An unknown number of Tibetans were arrested.
Further reading: ICT I TCHRD
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[16 January 2012] Following the self-immolation of a Tibetan in Ngaba on 14 January, Chinese police fired into a crowd of Tibetans who had gathered in an impromptu demonstration. The Tibetan who set fire to himself is understood to have died and reports indicate at least one person was shot dead.
In the morning of 14 January a Tibetan layman (name not yet known) set himself on fire in Ngaba town (Sichuan province). According to reports received by exiled sources, the police beat the man severely as they extinguished the flames. It is understood the Tibetan died at the scene.
According to emerging reports, a crowd of up to 700 Tibetans gathered at the local police station following the immolation and demanded the body was handed over. Armed police opened fire on the crowd and used tear gas. One elderly Tibetan woman was reportedly shot dead. Some reports indicate two Tibetans were shot and several seriously injured.
In response to this latest incident the Tibetan government in exile issued a statement saying, "The People’s Republic of China’s government must take full responsibility for these cases of self-immolation. It is within its power to end these unfortunate incidents by adopting liberal policies for Tibet and Tibetan people."
There are serious concerns for repercussions for Tibetans in the area and a further escalation of tensions. Tibet Society calls upon the British government to press the Chinese government to use restraint in Ngaba and withdraw its troops to ease mounting tensions.
This self-immolation is the 16th in Tibet since March 2011 and the 11th to have taken place in Ngaba. The yet unnamed layman is the 12th Tibetan known to have died.
Further reading: ICT I BBC
Statement from Tibetan goverment in exile (Central Tibetan Administration)
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