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Self-immolation in TAR on day after Dalai Lama's birthday PDF Print E-mail
[10 July 2012] A young Tibetan man set himself alight in a town north of Lhasa on 7 July in another protest against China's continued harsh rule over Tibet. It not yet known if Tsewang Dorjee survived. He is the 43rd Tibetan in Tibet to self-immolate since February 2009 and the 30th this year.

Tsewang Dorjee, a 22-year old nomad, self-immolated at about 1pm on 7 July, the day after the Dalai Lama's 77th birthday, in front of a community hall in Damshung (Chinese: Dangxiong), Lhasa prefecture. Tsewang shouted slogans calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama as he set fire to himself.

[UPDATE 12 July] The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, based in Dharamsala, are reporting that Tsewang Dorjee has died. It is understood he died during the night of 7 July, the same day as his self-immolation protest. Precise details are difficult to confirm as the Chinese authorities have implemented a security lockdown in the Damshung region, which includes the blocking of communitions.

Police initially took Tsewang to a local hospital, though some reports say he was later taken to hospital in Lhasa for further treatment. Sources said that Tsewang suffered burns to 90% of his body and it is feared that he has not survived. However, his current condition and whereabouts have not been confirmed.

The authorities have reportedly tightened security in Damshung (pictured right) and the surrounding region since the incident and local people have been warned not to spread information to outside sources. The Tibetan Parliament in exile have reported that all the witnesses to the self-immolation have been arrested.

Damshung is located approximately 100 kilometres north of Lhasa and is on the route of the controversial  Lhasa-Golmud railway. The region has also been subject to the Chinese government's policies which restrict the livelihoods of Tibetan nomads and farmers, including forced resettlement, the fencing of grasslands and restrictions on livestock.

Tsewang Dorjee is the fourth person to have self-immolated in the Tibet Autonomous Region, traditionally the provice of U'Tsang. The majority of the self immolations have taken place in eastern Tibet in Kham and Amdo, now incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan.

Further reading:
RFA I Phayul (1) I Phayul (2)
I TCHRD (11 July)
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