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Two self-immolations in two days in Labrang PDF Print E-mail
[24 October 2012] Two Tibetans have died after self-immolating on consecutive days in Labrang in north-eastern Tibet. The protests took place on 22 and 23 October and follow Lhamo Kyab's self-immolation on 20 October in the same county. The total number of self-immolations in Tibet since February 2009 now stands at 58.

DhondupOn 22 October, just before 10am local time, Dhondup (pictured right), a 61 year-old Tibetan nomad and farmer, set fire to himself next to a temple at Labrang Monastery in Labrang county (also known in Tibetan as Sangchu; in Chinese: Xiahe), Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) prefecture, Amdo (now incorporated into China's Gansu province). According to sources quoted by International Campaign for Tibet, Chinese security forces initially took Dhondup's body away but later gave the body to his family as they feared protests would erupt. Local officials also attempted to prevent prayers being said for Dhondup at Labrang monastery.

Dhondup, from a village in Denme township, Labrang county, is the oldest Tibetan to have self-immolated. Labrang monastery is one of the most important centers of Tibetan religious culture in Tibet and the largest monastery outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Dorjee RinchenOn 23 October, at approximately 3.30pm local time, Dorjee Rinchen (pictured right), set himself ablaze and ran down the main street of Labrang. The location of the protest has been reported as outside the local Public Security Bureau office, though several sources say it was near a military camp. Dorjee died shortly after his protest.

Local people prevented Chinese troops from removing Dorjee's body and eventually took his body to his home in nearby Sayi village. Monks from Labrang monastery were said to be prevented from visiting Dorjee's home so instead said prayers on the roadside.

Dorjee Rinchen, 58, was married with two children. He used to sell bread at Labrang monastery.

The exact reasons for the two self-immolations are not known, however, most of the previous incidents are known to have been in protest against China's oppressive rule with many of the protestors calling for freedom for Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

These are the second and third self-immolations to take place in Labrang county in the past four days. On 20 October, Lhamo Kyab died after setting himself on fire near Bora monastery. There have now been 45 self-immolations in Tibet this year and 58 since 2009.

Further reading:
Warning: The reports below contain graphic images of the self-immolations.
Dhondup: ICT I RFA I TCHRD I Phayul
Dorjee Rinchen: ICT I RFA I TCHRD I Phayul


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Background to self-immolations


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