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Two self-immolations as Tibetans banned from paying respects PDF Print E-mail
[19 November 2012] Two Tibetans self-immolated on consecutive days (17 & 18 November) in Rebkong, eastern Tibet, as Chinese officials announced that Tibetans were barred from visiting the families of those who self-immolate and monasteries face closure if they perform funerals or prayer services for self-immolators.

Chagmo KyiOn 17 November, Chagmo Kyi, a Tibetan mother of two, self-immolated at about 4pm in Dolma Square (pictured below), located in front of Rongwo monastery, Rongwo, Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) county, Malho (Ch: Huangnan) prefecture, Amdo (now incorporated into China's Qinghai province). Chagmo Kyi died at the scene.

Monks took her body into the monastery. Despite a security crackdown in the region, hundreds of monks and local Tibetans attended Chagmo Kyi's funeral later the same evening, on a nearby hillside.

Dolma SquareChagmo Kyi was from Madpa village in Rebkong county. She was a taxi driver and a farmer. She had two children.

Large numbers of armed security forces are said to be patrolling Rongwo town 24 hours a day and restrictions on the movement of Tibetans have been imposed. The situation is described as very tense.

Sangdag TseringOn the following day, at about 7pm, Sangdag Tsering (pictured right) set himself on fire in front of a local Chinese government office in Dokarmo town, Rebkong county.

According to sources quoted by Phayul, the location of the protest was significant, as earlier in the day a public meeting was held there called by the Chinese authorities. At the meeting, the Chinese officials told local Tibetans they were barred from visiting the families of self-immolators. The officials also threatened to shut down monasteries if prayer services and funerals for self-immolators continued.

Sangdag Tsering, a 24 year-old father, died at the scene of the protest. Monks and local Tibetans prevented Chinese security forces from taking the body away, and, despite the ban, a funeral was held attended by several thousand Tibetans.

According to a Phayul source, Sangdag had recently expressed his frustration over the situation in Tibet, including the lack of freedoms, the exile of the Dalai Lama and the continuing self-immolations. Sangdag recently wrote a poem calling for Tibetan unity, which ends, The brave men of the snow mountains, Dont forget your loyalty to Tibet.

The Rebkong region has witnessed nine self-immolations since 4 November and 11 this year. Overall in Tibet there have been 76 self-immolations, of which 63 have taken place in 2012. The majority of self-immolators in Tibet have called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet during their protests; many are also known to have called for freedom for Tibet. Thousands of Tibetans have defied security crackdowns and taken to the streets, demonstrating peacefully and calling for an end to China's repressive policies.

Further reading: ICT I TCHRD I Phayul (17 Nov) I Phayul (18 Nov)
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