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Monk: "I burned myself for the re-union of Tibetans" PDF Print E-mail
[12 November 2013] A Tibetan monk has died after self-immolating in eastern Tibet on 11 November. Before his death, Tsering Gyal called for Tibetans to unite and for the preservation of Tibetan language and tradition. This is the first reported self-immolation in Tibet since 28 September and the 122nd since 2009.

Tsering GyalTsering Gyal (pictured right), a 20 year-old monk from Akyong monastery, set himself on fire in the evening of 11 November in Pema (Chinese: Baima) county, Golog (Ch: Guoluo) prefecture, Amdo (now incorporated into China's Qinghai province). Witnesses said Tsering was chanting "Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso khyen" (May Tenzin Gyatso [the Dalai Lama] know) before collapsing.

Chinese police arrived at the scene, extinguished the flames and took Tsering to a local hospital. However, Tsering later succumbed to his injuries whilst being transferred to a larger hospital in Xiling. His body was returned to Akyong monastery where monks performed traditional funeral rituals.

According to a source quoted by Phayul, Tsering Gyal, before his death, said, Today, I burned myself for the re-union of Tibetans. My only hope is the unity among Tibetans and the preservation of the Tibetan language and tradition. If we do that, all the Tibetans will be re-united.

Armed forces are reported to have been deployed in Pema county and movements of local people are being strictly monitored.

Tsering Gyal's self-immolation is the first since 28 September and the 25th in 2013. Since February 2009, there have been 122 self-immolations by Tibetans in Tibet and one by a Tibetan in Beijing. The self-immolation protests have been in response to the lack of freedoms brought about by China's hard-line policies in Tibet. The vast majority of self-immolators have specifically called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, for an end to China's oppressive policies or for Tibetan unity.

Further reading: Phayul (11 Nov) I Phayul (12 Nov) I RFA
Warning: Phayul (11 Nov) report contains graphic image of self-immolation.
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Background to self-immolations

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