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Nomad self-immolates prior to anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising PDF Print E-mail
[9 March 2015] A nomad has self-immolated in eastern Tibet, becoming the first Tibetan to self-immolate in 2015. The protest came just a few days before the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising, one of the most significant dates in the Tibetan calendar. Also, a teenage monk has been detained in the same region following a peaceful solo protest.

NorchukOn 5 or 6 March, Norchuk (pictured right), a 47 year-old Tibetan nomad set fire to herself in the village of Trotusk, Ngaba county, Amdo (now incorporated into China's Sichuan province). The exact time of the protest is unclear with reports indicating it took place either in the evening of 5 March or early hours of 6 March.

Norchuk died at the scene and her body was immediately cremated by local Tibetans for fear it be would seized by the Chinese police and traditional funeral rites would be denied.

Norchuk was a mother of three children and was a member of Dephu monastery. Along with a number of nomads from neighbouring villages, she had recently made a commitment in honour of the Dalai Lama, to undertake a more virtuous lifestyle by giving up eating meat.

Though further details of Norchuk's protest are not known, it is suspected she was protesting against China's oppressive policies in Tibet. Norchuck is the 136th Tibetan in Tibet to self-immolate in the past six years, and the first in 2015. The majority of the Tibetan self-immolators have specifically called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and for human rights for the Tibetan people.

On 10 March 1959, thousands of Tibetans in Tibet took to the streets of Lhasa to protest against China's rule and protect their leader, the Dalai Lama. As the Chinese army shelled Lhasa, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape from Tibet. The Tibetan Uprising was eventually quashed, resulting in the death of 87,000 Tibetans, and to this day the Tibetan people have had to endure China's brutal regime.

Further reading: RFA I TCHRD I Phayul
Take ActionBackground to self-immolations

Tibetan monk detained after solo protest
Gedun PhuntsokOn 8 March, a teenage Tibetan monk was detained by Chinese authorities in Ngaba after staging a solo peaceful protest.

Gendun Phuntsok (pictured right), an 18 year-old monk from Kirti monastery, staged his protest at about 1.30pm local time on the main road in Ngaba. During his protest he carried a portrait of the Dalai Lama and shouted slogans including Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to Tibet and Freedom and equality for Tibet. Gendun's current condition and whereabouts are not known.

Further reading:
TCHRD I Phayul


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