DHARAMSHALA, August 10: In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, yet another Tibetan has set himself on fire today in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
The self-immolator is being identified as Choepa, a Tibetan man around 24 years of age. The exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, in a statement released just now said that Choepa carried out his fiery protest in the Me’uruma region of Amdo Ngaba, eastern Tibet at 10.15 am (local time).
As of now, there is no information on Choepa’s condition or his whereabouts.
The statement quoted eyewitness as saying that Choepa raised slogans before he was overpowered by Chinese security personnel and taken to an unknown location.
“Choepa’s body was engulfed in high flames as he raised slogans,” the release said. “Within minutes, Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene and doused the flames on his body before forcibly taking him away.”
Eyewitnesses have also raised serious concerns over Choepa’s survival.
“People who witnessed the fiery protest have said that Choepa has very little chances of survival as his body was severely burned,” the release said. “But as of now there is no confirmation whether Choepa is dead or alive.”
Choepa’s parents are Paelo and Madron.
Kangay Tsering, a researcher at the Kirti Monastery said that following the self-immolation protest, the situation in Me'uruma has become tense.
“Me'uruma is currently filled with armed Chinese forces as the situation there continues to become more tense,” Tsering said.
This is the third self-immolation in Tibet in the past five-days alone.
Since 2009, the growing wave of self-immolations has witnessed 48 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.