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Nun self-immolates at major Buddhist gathering PDF Print E-mail
[19 June 2013] Wangchen Dolma, a 31 year-old nun, self-immolated on 11 June, during a major gathering of monks in Tawu, eastern Tibet. She died from her injuries three days later. Chinese police have refused to hand over her body to her family who have since been placed under surveillance.

Wangchen DolmaWangchen Dolma set fire to herself near Nyatso monastery in Tawu (Chinese: Dawu) county, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) prefecture, Kham (now incorporated in China's Sichuan province). At the time, the monastery was hosting a major inter-monastic conference, with over 3,000 monks from 50 monasteries attending debates and teachings.

According to local sources, Chinese police immediately took Wangchen Dolma away following her protest. One source reported that a Tibetan man was detained after trying to extinguish the flames. Wangchen's body was not returned to her family after her death. It is reported that her family are now under close surveillance and may not be allowed to leave their home.

Following the self-immolation, security around Nyatso monastery was increased and communications in the region restricted.

Wangchen Dolma was from Dragthog village near Tawu and had studied at a mountain retreat called Barshab Dragkar. The day before her self-immolation, Wangchen Dolma spoke to a group of students at a Tibetan school in Tawu. She advised the students to learn Tibetan language, religion, culture and to become good Tibetans.

There have been 22 self-immolation protests in Tibet in 2013.

Further reading: ICT I TCHRD

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