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Self-immolator's family denied traditional funeral rituals PDF Print E-mail
[20 February 2014] A former monk, who self-immolated on 13 February and died two days later, has been cremated without his family's consent. Lobsang Dorje's family have been denied the opportunity to perform traditional funeral rituals, despite appealing to the authorities to hand over the body. Officials eventually retuned the ashes to his family in a box.

On 13 February, at about 6.30pm (local time), former Kirti monk Lobsang Dorje doused himself in gasoline and set fire to himself on the main road near Kirti monastery in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) town, Ngaba prefecture, Amdo (now incorporated into China's Sichuan province). Earlier in the day, Lobsang is understood to have attended a monastic mask dance.

According to sources quoted by Radio Free Asia, during his protest, 25 year-old Lobsang shouted slogans against Chinese policies in Tibet. He was taken away by Chinese police. Sources said, As [the police] were driving him away in the back of a pickup van covered with black canvas, he sat up and joined his palms, but the policemen pushed him back down.

Following the incident, security was tightened in the area, with deployment of armed police and special forces.
In solidarity, shops and restaurants in Ngaba were closed by Tibetan owners for three days.

Lobsang died two days later in Barkham government hospital. His body was cremated without the consent or knowledge of his family, who were just given a box of his ashes. His family had repeatedly urged the authorities to return the body. Lobsang was from the Chukle Gongma nomadic area in Cha Ruwa, Ngaba county.

The protest took place on the same street as that of the first self-immolation in Tibet in February 2009, by Tapey, a Kirti monk. Lobsang Dorje is the 126th Tibetan to self-immolate in the past five years, and the second in 2014.

Further reading: ICT I RFA (14 Feb) I RFA (17 Feb) I Phayul (18 Feb)
Warning: The RFA report (14 Feb) includes a graphic image of the self-immolation.

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