DHARAMSHALA, June 2: The identity of the second youth who set himself on fire on May 27 in Lhasa has now been confirmed.
Dargye (Darjey), 25, set himself on fire along with another Tibetan, Tseten Dorjee, 19, in front of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
While Tseten Dorjee succumbed to his injuries, no details regarding Dargye’s wellbeing and whereabouts are available, almost a week after their fiery protest.
Following the severe security clampdown in Lhasa and the arrests of hundreds of witnesses, the identity of the second self-immolator could not be confirmed for days.
The exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala in a release yesterday said that 25-year old Dargye is a native of Soruma village in Choejema township, Ngaba, eastern Tibet.
“Dargye’s parents are Lodey and Sheykyi and is the youngest of six children,” the release said.
Dargye had joined the Ngaba Kirti monastery at a young age and had disrobed a few years ago. Since then he had been working as a cashier at a restaurant in Lhasa, owned by a family from Ngaba, the same restaurant where Dorjee Tseten worked as a chef.
“After the protest, the restaurant owner and his entire family members were arrested,” the release said. “Dargye’s family has been told that he is still alive, but nothing more.”
Kanyag Tsering, a monk at the Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, who has been closely following the situation inside Tibet, told Phayul that Chinese authorities in Lhasa have begun detaining Tibetans from Ngaba.
“Six people including the present leaders of the Ngaba community in Lhasa, Drolma Kyab, Nyurgyog, Khambey, Tamdrin Kyab, and Sangdrak have all been arrested,” Tsering said. “Employees in restaurants and shops around Lhasa, those without temporary registration have been detained and their whereabouts are not known.”
Hundreds of Tibetans are believed to have been detained, including many who had witnessed the self-immolations in front of the Jokhang temple, since Sunday.
The security chief in Lhasa has ordered greater surveillance and a complete lockdown of the Tibetan areas in Lhasa.
Tsering added that there was now an increased control over mobile phones and electronic devices used by Tibetans in Ngaba, the nerve centre of the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet.
“Now it is very difficult for Tibetans in the Ngaba region to communicate, not only with the outside world, but even with its own neighbouring areas,” Tsering said.
Many of the images and videos of self-immolation protests that have reached exile, have been shot using mobile phones.
Since 2009, thirty eight Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.