Breaking: Tibet continues to burn, Second self-immolation in the new year
Phayul[Friday, January 18, 2013 18:10]
Tsering Phuntsok's body burns on the ground in front of Chinese police station in Drachen village in Khyungchu region of eastern Tibet on January 18, 2013.
Tsering Phuntsok's body burns on the ground in front of Chinese police station in Drachen village in Khyungchu region of eastern Tibet on January 18, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, January 18: The wave of self-immolation protests in Tibet against China’s continued occupation of Tibet shows no sign of abating with reports just in of yet another fiery death in Khyungchu region of Ngaba in eastern Tibet.

Initial reports have identified the Tibetan self-immolator as Tsering Phuntsok. According to a Swiss based Tibetan, Sonam, the protest occurred at around 3:15 pm (local time).

“Tsering Phuntsok set himself on fire in front of the local Chinese police station in Drachen village of Khyungchu region,” Sonam told Phayul. “He passed away at the site of his protest.”

Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene and bundled away Tsering Phuntsok’s body to Barkham, the same source said.

Tsering Phuntsok is survived by his wife and two children.

Photos of today’s self-immolation protests show the charred body of Tsering Phuntsok, still on fire, lying on the ground. A number of people could be seen surrounding the body.

Reports suggest that monks of the Amchok Monastery are currently carrying out a prayer service for the deceased.

This is the second self-immolation protest in Tibet since the beginning of the new year. In 2012 alone, as many as 82 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

Chinese authorities in the region have intensified their repressive policies by criminalising the self-immolation protests, arresting family members and friends of protesters and off late, confiscating thousands of satellite TV dishes aimed at creating an information black hole in the region.

“Tibet is getting into the global evening news because of self-immolations and so there’s this anxiety to bring it under control,” Michael Davis, a law professor and Tibet expert at the University of Hong Kong told AP. He warned that the new leadership “will be particularly anxious not to have any of these problems blow up in their face.”

“I think self-immolations and all of this suggest that they are not winning the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people and in fact the more repressive they are, the more resistance they encounter, so it’s a kind of vicious circle,” Davis said.

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