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Independence call during self-immolation; Jamyang Palden passes away PDF Print E-mail
[1 October 2012] A Tibetan man set fire to himself in eastern Tibet on 29 September whilst calling for independence for Tibet. On the same day, Jamyang Palden, a monk who self-immolated on 14 March, succumbed to his burns, becoming the 42nd Tibetan known to have died of the 52 who have self-immolated in Tibet since February 2009.

Tibetan self-immolates whilst calling for independence
The latest self-immolation protest occured on 29 September in Zatoe town, Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) county, Jyekundo (Ch: Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), Kham (now part of China's Qinghai province). A 27 year-old Tibetan man, identified as Yungdrung, set himself alight near a row of shops. He was dressed in traditional Tibetan clothes and shouted slogans during his protest.

According to sources quoted by Radio Free Asia, Yungdrung (also referred to in some reports as Yangdang) was calling for independence for Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa (another senior Tibetan Buddhist figure in exile) to Tibet, and for long life for the Dalai Lama. Yungdrung also referred to Lobsang Sangay (the head of the Tibetan government in exile) as the king of Tibet.

Chinese security forces took Yungdrung away, who was reportedly severely burned and thought unlikely to survive. However, his whereabouts and condition are not currently known.

Yungdrung was born in Karma township in Chamdo (Ch: Chandgu or Qamdo) county, Chamdo prefecture, U'Tsang (now part of China's Tibet Autonomous Region), and was involved in a small business in the Zatoe area.

Since the protest, security has been tightened in Zatoe town (also referred to as Dzatoe), with a large influx of Chinese security forces. The authorities have also imposed restrictions on movements of Tibetan residents.

Several days prior to Yungdrung's protest, the Chinese authorities in Jyekundo were reported to have attempted to coerce local Tibetans into participating in a propaganda film portraying Tibetans as living happily under Chinese rule. It is not known if Yungdrung's protest was linked to the film, for which Tibetans were said to be unwilling to particpate.

Yungdrung is the third Tibetan to have self-immolated in Zatoe town and the 52nd Tibetan to who have self-immolated in Tibet since February 2009. On 20 June, Tenzin Khedup and Ngawang Norphel set fire to themselves in Zatoe town, whilst waving Tibetan flags and shouting slogans. Tenzin died at the scene, whilst Ngawang died six weeks later.

[Update: 8 October] According to International Campaign for Tibet, Yungdung died from his injuries. The day after the self-immolation protest local authorities informed Yungdung's family that he had died whilst being transferred to hospital. However, the authorities have yet to release Yangdangs body to his family.

Further reading: RFA (29 Sept)Phayul (30 Sept) I RFA (1 Oct) I ICT (5 Oct)

Take Action Background to self-immolations

Jamyang Palden passes away
Jamyang PaldenOn 29 September Jamyang Palden died, finally succumbing to his injuries from his self-immolation protest on 14 March. The 34 year-old monk passed away in his monastic quarters at Rongbo Gonchen (aka Rongwo or Rongpo) monastery in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) county, Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Amdo (now part of China's Qinghai province).

A source was quoted by Phayul saying, Due to his severe burn injuries, [Jamyang Palden] showed very little signs of improvement and finally passed away. Monks were reported to have gathered in large numbers at Rongbo Gonchen monastery to offer prayers for Jamyang Palden.

Jamyang Palden's protest on 14 March took place on the anniversary of the start of the 2008 uprising that spread across Tibet. Jamyang Palden becomes the 42nd Tibetan known to have died of the 52 Tibetans who have self-immolated in Tibet since February 2009.

Further reading: Phayul

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