Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture

Sangha please do not support suicides by Sangha members!

Damchoe Sangpo age 38

self-immolated Friday Feb 17, 2012 to protest religious restrictions over not being allowed to attend a religious event.

Sangpo studied in Drepung Monastery in South India in the 1990s. He served as a religous teacher after his return to Bongthak Monastery

http://www.voanews.com/tibetan-english/news/Tibetan-Monk-Dies-of-Self-Immolation-139517103.html  Voice of America news

New York Times article reports January 2012 deaths of 3 monks. Noticing the trends in increasing seeming to be the norm.  The Dalai Lama is quoted as saying they are brave people and also saying the act has no effect.

While the Dalai Lama has deplored the suicides, he has also commended the victims. “There is courage, very strong courage,” he told the BBC in November. But he asked, “How much effect?”

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/09/china-tibetan-monks-body-paraded

It quoted a Tibetan expert who said the “Dalai Lama clique” had “instigated and enticed” the men to self-immolate.

The Dalai Lama has denied Chinese accusations that he has encouraged such acts and blamed Chinese policies.

The Karmapa, a senior religious figure viewed as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama, has gone further by urging Tibetans to stop self-immolation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/10/karmapa-lama-tibetan-monks-stop  This article clearly reports the reasons why they should not immolate.

 

Chinese officials say to respect life and not suicide during a very recent visit to the affected areas in Tibet.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/china-sends-provincial-party-chief-to-warn-tibetans-in-restive-areas-against-separatism/2012/02/24/gIQAlnj4WR_story.html

 

An interesting article in the Atlantic discussing a biased account of the issues at hand.  Worth a read but not accurate in Vinaya interpretation or even for the justification of suicide among Buddhists.  Plain wrong, wrong circumstances since reports of Buddha’s past lives were given as justification and not the one in which he lived and was enlightened by.  Also we are not the Buddha, nor were those monks and nuns Buddhas or recognized as highly esteemed leaders.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/02/why-violence-in-tibet-is-getting-worse/253627/

 

This monk was self-immolating to cover up a crime of sleeping with someone’s wife.

Xinhua said an initial investigation found the monk set himself on fire out of shame that his “secret love affair with a local woman was discovered by the woman’s husband,” citing an unnamed spokesman with the local Communist Party committee.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/tibetan-monk-self-immolation_n_1193459.html

 

Former monks reported to self-immolate. news from a christian news source.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/tibetan-monks-self-immolate-in-growing-protest-66852/

ex-monk immolates. 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16111709

october 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204485304576642722217633898.html

 

Here is a convenient fact sheet for each one that died or survived.  Pray for them.

http://www.savetibet.org/resource-center/maps-data-fact-sheets/self-immolation-fact-sheet

Self-Immolation Fact Sheet

Last Updated: February 23, 2012, 13:51 EST

Nangdrol  |  Damchoe  |  Lobsang Gyatso  |  Tenzin Choedron  |  Sonam Rabyang  |  Rinzin Dorje
Losang Jamyang  |  Sonam Wangyal  |  Tsultrim  |  Tennyi  |  Tenzin Phuntsog  |  Palden Choetso
Dawa Tsering  |  Tenzin Wangmo  |  Norbu Damdrul  |  Choepel  |  Kayang  |  Kelsang Wangchuk
Lobsang Kelsang  |  Lobsang Kunchok  |  Tsewang Norbu  |  Phuntsog  |  Tapey

  • 23 Tibetans have been confirmed to have self-immolated since February 27, 2009
  • 20 men, three women
  • 15 of the 23 are known to have died following their protest
  • 15 of the 23 are from Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
  • Three are from Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (One monk from Nyitso monastery, one monk from Kardze monastery and one nun from Tawu)
  • One is from Chamdo prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region
  • One is from Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province
  • Five of the 23 were monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba
  • Five of the 23 are former monks at Kirti monastery in Ngaba (It is currently not known whether the five chose to disrobe, or were expelled from the monastery by government authorities)
  • Two of the 23 was a nun from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery in Ngaba
  • 22 of the self-immolations have occurred since March 16, 2011
  • A map marking the locations of the self-immolations can be viewed here.

Nangdrol

Date: February 19, 2012
Protest location: Dzamthang (Chinese: Rangtang) county, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Age: 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Nangdrol was the fourth of eight children, and is from Choeje village, Barma township, Dzamthang, the Tibetan area of Amdo. The same sources reported that he died, and his body was taken back to the monastery where traditional Buddhist rituals were carried out for him. According to the same sources, monks did not comply with police orders to hand over the body, and this evening (February 19), more than 1000 people had gathered to hold vigil.

According to new information received from the same exile sources, it appears that Nangdrol may have been a layperson and not a monk. If this is the case this would be the first case of the self-immolation of a layperson who was not previously a monk. Details will be updated as soon as information is available.

ICT Report:

Damchoe

DamchoeDate: February 17, 2012

Protest location: Themchen county town, Themchen county, Tsonub Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province
Age: 40

Info: Details are being confirmed, we will update when possible.

Lobsang Gyatso

Lobsang GyatsoDate: February 13, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba
Age: 19

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: At about 2:30pm on February 13th, Kirti monk Losang Gyatso, age 19, of the Badzritsang house in Naktsangma of Cha township, set himself on fire at the top of the main street of Ngaba town shouting slogans ofprotest against the Chinese government.

In the same moment, armed police and special police officers came and extinguished the fire and took him away while beating him. His present condition and whereabouts are not known.

ICT Report:

Tenzin Choedron

Tenzin ChoedronDate: February 11, 2012
Nunnery: Mame Dechen Chokorling (also known as Mame nunnery)
Protest location: Ngaba
Age: 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Tenzin Choedron set herself on fire early in the evening on February 11, shouting slogans against the Chinese government, according to monks from Kirti monastery in exile (sister monastery to Kirti in Ngaba). She chose the same place as nun Tenzin Wangmo, the Sumdo bridge area below the nunnery, which is around three kilometers from Ngaba county town (Tibetan nun dies following self-immolation protest). Tenzin Choedron did not die immediately, but was taken away by soldiers and police. According to new information today, she died soon afterwards and her funeral ceremony is being arranged.

ICT Report:

Sonam Rabyang

Date: February 9, 2012
Protest location: Triwang (Chinese: Chen wen) Town, the Capital of Tridu County
Age: Mid-30’s

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Taken to a hospital; condition is unclear

Info: Sonam Rabyang was a monk from Yuthung village, Lab township, Tridu (Chi: Chenduo) County, Yulshul (Chi: Yu shu) in Yulshul Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province (the Tibetan area of Kham). He was at Lab monastery, and set fire to himsef in Tridu town. It is thought that he survived, but it is not clear.

ICT is still collecting information from sources inside Tibet. We will release details when they are confirmed.

ICT Report:

  • [ An official ICT report is pending. ]

Rinzin Dorje

Date: February 8, 2012
Protest location: Ngaba county town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Amdo)
Age: 19

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Taken away by police, unknown if he survived

Info: According to two Tibetan monks from Kirti monastery in Dharamsala, India (associated with Kirti monastery in Ngaba), the Tibetan set himself on fire at a primary school early in the evening in Ngaba county town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Amdo). Sources said that the Tibetan seemed to be a monk, but his name and place of origin are not known. He was taken away by police, and it is not known whether he is still alive. Two monks were also detained from the vicinity.

ICT Report:

Losang Jamyang

Losang JamyangDate: January 14, 2012
Monastery: Formerly of Andu
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 20’s

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: According to exiled Tibetan sources, at around 1:30 pm he doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire. He walked into the street calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet, according to the same sources.

Police began to kick and beat him with clubs spiked with nails rather than immediately focusing on putting out the flames. According to two Kirti monks in Dharamsala, India, who have spoken to several individuals in the area: “Unable to bear this sight, local Tibetans on the scene stood up to the armed security personnel without regard for their own lives, and shouting that the body should be handed over to them, tried their best to block their path as they tried to take him away.”

Losang Jamyang died after his self-immolation but reports about the time of his death differ. He was taken away by police, and one of the most reliable reports suggest that he may have survived until Monday (January 16) when he died.

Losang Jamyang became a monk at the local Andu monastery (of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism) as a child, but later joined a primary school (Bontse school) in Ngaba county and completed his education there. In 2011 he was a leading member of a popular association for the promotion of Tibetan language in his village, and as a result had faced pressure from the local authorities.

ICT Report:

Sonam Wangyal

Sonam WangyalDate: January 8, 2012
Protest location: Darlag county, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province
Age: 40’s

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Sonam Wangyal (also referred to as Lama Sobha), a respected religious figure in his local area, drank kerosene and set himself on fire on January 8 early in the morning in Darlag county, Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo), according to the Tibetan government in exile. His self-immolation was said to be linked to lack of religious freedoms in the area. Radio Free Asia reported that before he set himself ablaze, he climbed a local hill to burn incense and pray before distributing leaflets saying he would act “not for his personal glory but for Tibet and the happiness of Tibetans.”

ICT Reports:

Tsultrim

Date: January 6, 2012
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Around 20

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: According to information from exiled Tibetan sources, two Tibetans, both aged around 20, called Tsultrim and Tennyi, set themselves on fire in the courtyard of a hotel in the center of Ngaba town, and ran into the street shouting “His Holiness the Dalai Lama must return to Tibet” and “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!” Tennyi died on the same day, and Tsultrim died on January 7, according to the same sources.

ICT Report:

Tennyi

Date: January 6, 2012
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Around 20

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: According to information from exiled Tibetan sources, two Tibetans, both aged around 20, called Tsultrim and Tennyi, set themselves on fire in the courtyard of a hotel in the center of Ngaba town, and ran into the street shouting “His Holiness the Dalai Lama must return to Tibet” and “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!” Tennyi died on the same day, and Tsultrim died on January 7, according to the same sources.

ICT Report:

Tenzin Phuntsog

Tenzin PhuntsogDate: December 1, 2011
Monastery: Karma Monastery, located in Chamdo township
Protest location: Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu or Qamdo) prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region
Age: 40’s

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased.

Info: This the first self-immolation to occur in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the 13th since Kirti monk Tapey set himself on fire on February 27, 2009. The self-immolations have mainly occurred in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo), with three in neighbouring Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (the Tibetan area of Kham).

Radio Free Asia reported that the former monk set himself ablaze in Khamar township in Chamdo, that his wife’s name is Dolma, and that he has two sons and a daughter. (Radio Free Asia Tibetan service in English, December 1).
According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Tenzin Phuntsog died at Chamdo Hospital on December 6, 2011 (TCHRD, 9 December 2011).

ICT Report:

Palden Choetso

Dawa TseringDate: November 3, 2011
Nunnery: Ganden Jangchup Choeling
Protest location: Tawu (also known as Dawu) county in Kardze
Age: 35

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased (believed)

Info: A Tibetan, Palden Choetso set fire to herself November 3, 2011 and is believed to have died in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Kham. The state news agency Xinhua confirmed the self-immolation and reported that the nun died after setting herself on fire near her nunnery in Tawu (also known as Dawu, Chinese: Daofu) county in Kardze.

According to one source in exile, “After Palden Choetso’s self-immolation the nuns took her to the nunnery, and she died soon afterwards. Nuns began to pray for her. The local authorities have locked down the area, closing a major road in Tawu, and deploying troops to the nunnery.”

ICT Report:

Dawa Tsering

Dawa TseringDate: October 25, 2011
Monastery: Kardze
Protest location: Kardze
Age: 38

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: Dawa Tsering, 38, became the 11th Tibetan to self-immolate as a form of political protest against Chinese rule when he set fire to himself on the morning of October 25 in Kardze Monastery in eastern Tibet. Dawa Tsering was reportedly participating in a religious ritual inside the monastery attended by hundreds of local people when he set himself on fire. His current condition and whereabouts are not known, and Chinese police have reportedly surrounded the monastery.

ICT Report:

Tenzin Wangmo

Tenzin WangmoDate: October 17, 2011
Nunnery: Mame Dechen Chokorling (also known as Mame nunnery)
Protest location: Sumdo bridge, located below Mame nunnery, approximately three kilometers outside of Ngaba county town, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 20

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Tenzin Wangmo, a 20 year-old Tibetan nun from Mame Dechen Chokorling nunnery (also known as Mame nunnery) in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province (Tibetan region of Amdo), died after self-immolating at the Sumdo bridge, located below Mame nunnery, approximately three kilometers outside of Ngaba county town. According to the same sources, Tenzin Wangmo called for the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet and for religious freedom, during a protest that lasted approximately 10 minutes. Tenzin Wangmo’s body was taken back to the nunnery before police arrived, whereupon the authorities demanded that her body be turned over or buried the same day, according to the same exile sources. The nuns of Mame nunnery refused, after which soldiers and police cordoned off the nunnery and surrounding villages. Details are still emerging, however, according to the same exile sources, Tenzin Wangmo’s body was cremated on the evening of October 17, by order of the authorities.

ICT Report:

Norbu Damdrul

Date: October 15, 2011
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti (It is not known whether Norbu Damdrul chose to disrobe, or was expelled from the monastery by government authorities.)
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 19

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased.

Info: Norbu Damdrul, 19, a former Kirti monk, set fire to himself in a protest on the main street in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county town just before noon on October 15. According to exiled Tibetan sources he shouted “We need freedom and independence for Tibet,” and called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet as his body was burning, according to the same sources.

Norbu’s body was badly burned, but according to the same sources he was still alive when police stationed on the street extinguished the flames and kicked Norbu before taking him away. A large crowd of Tibetans who had gathered at the scene was dispersed at gunpoint by security personnel, according to the same sources.

ICT Report:

Choepel

ChoepelDate: October 7, 2011
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti (It is not known whether Choepel chose to disrobe, or was expelled from the monastery by government authorities.)
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 19

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Choepel and Kayang, both former monks at Kirti monastery who may have been expelled, set fire to themselves along the main road of Ngaba county town. The two young men clasped their hands together and set fire to themselves before security personnel extinguished the flames and took the two to the county’s government-run hospital. Both young men died following the protest.

The Chinese state media reported the self-immolation in a Xinhua report on October 8, saying that two Tibetans were “slightly injured” after a “self-immolation attempt.”

ICT Reports:

Kayang

KayangDate: October 7, 2011
Monastery: Formerly of Kirti (It is not known whether Kayang chose to disrobe, or was expelled from the monastery by government authorities.)
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Choepel and Kayang, both former monks at Kirti monastery who may have been expelled, set fire to themselves along the main road of Ngaba county town. The two young men clasped their hands together and set fire to themselves before security personnel extinguished the flames and took the two to the county’s government-run hospital. Both young men died following the protest. Kayang’s cousin, a Tibetan named Tashi, was one of the Tibetans killed in the Chinese government crackdown in Ngaba in 2008.

The Chinese state media reported the self-immolation in a Xinhua report on October 8, saying that two Tibetans were “slightly injured” after a “self-immolation attempt.”

ICT Reports:

Kelsang Wangchuk

Kelsang WangchukDate: October 3, 2011
Monastery: Kirti
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 17

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Tibetan exile sources indicate that he is in a ward of the county hospital under strict surveillance. The same sources said that he had sustained a head injury as a result of the beatings from police at the time of his detention.

Info: A 17-year old monk from Kirti monastery immolated himself in Ngaba county town at approximately 2:00 pm local time on October 3, according to Tibetans in exile in contact with Tibetans in the area. The monk, Kelsang Wangchuk, carried a photo of the Dalai Lama and was shouting slogans against the Chinese government when he set fire to himself along the main street in Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. Full details of the incident have yet to emerge, but some exiled sources say that he was immediately surrounded by security personnel, who extinguished the fire and beat Kelsang Wangchuk before taking him away. Kelsang’s current wellbeing and whereabouts are unknown.

Shortly after the immolation, additional security forces were deployed in Ngaba county town and at Kirti monastery.

According to monks from the re-established Kirti monastery in exile in Dharamsala, India, pamphlets were distributed and posted around Kirti monastery and the market place in Ngaba county town a few days ago, stating that if the current security crackdown in the area were to continue, “many more people were prepared to give up their lives” in protest.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Kelsang

Lobsang KelsangDate: September 26, 2011
Monastery: Kirti
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Believed to be 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: In a hospital, according to exile Tibetan sources. Lobsang Kelsang was featured on Chinese state television from hospital.

Info: On September 26 Lobsang Kelsang and Lobsang Kunchok, both believed to be approximately 18-years old, set fire to themselves while shouting “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” in a protest also held in Ngaba county town. After extinguishing the flames, police took the two young monks into custody.

ICT Report:

Lobsang Kunchok

Lobsang KunchokDate: September 26, 2011
Monastery: Kirti
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Believed to be 18

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: In a hospital, according to exile Tibetan sources.

Info: On September 26 Lobsang Kelsang and Lobsang Kunchok, both believed to be approximately 18-years old, set fire to themselves while shouting “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” in a protest also held in Ngaba county town. After extinguishing the flames, police took the two young monks into custody.

video was posted on YouTube showing Lobsang Kunchok in the street after he self-immolated.
(Warning: graphic content)

ICT Report:

Tsewang Norbu

Tsewang NorbuDate: August 15, 2011
Monastery: Nyitso
Protest location: Tawu county, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 29

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Tsewang Norbu died after setting fire to himself and calling for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Tsewang Norbu drank petrol before immolating himself and died soon afterwards, according to Tibetan exiles in contact with the area.

In a rare instance of prompt reporting on such an incident, the Chinese state media confirmed the death of a Buddhist monk shortly afterwards, with Xinhua stating: “it was unclear why he had burnt himself”, and that the local government had launched an investigation. (Xinhua, August 15).

A hotel receptionist near the scene of Tsewang Norbu’s death told AFP that the monk had been distributing leaflets, saying: “I saw a monk lying on the ground and burning, he died right in front of the county government building.” (AFP, August 15).

The state media confirmed that Tsewang Norbu had been swiftly cremated on Wednesday, August 17, evidence that the Kardze Party Secretary’s instructions for a prompt cremation were followed. Xinhua reported that Nyitso monk Tsewang Norbu (Chinese transliteration: Tsongwon Norbu) had been “cremated Wednesday in accordance with Tibetan rituals”, according to the local government. (Xinhua in English, August 17).

ICT Report:

Phuntsog

PhuntsogDate: March 16, 2011
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: 20

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Info: Phuntsog, a 20-year old monk, immolated himself on March 16, the 3rd anniversary of a protest at Kirti in 2008 during which at least 10 Tibetans were shot dead. Police extinguished the flames and were seen beating Phuntsog before he died, according to Tibetan exiles in contact with Tibetans in the area. According to Tibetan exiles who spoke to a witness of the protest, before he was stopped by police Phuntsog shouted slogans including “May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for 10,000 years!”

According to the same sources, protests then broke out against the Chinese authorities involving hundreds of monks and laypeople. After an attempted peaceful march from the monastery, police broke up the protests, detaining an unknown number of monks and beating Tibetans involved.

An account of the aftermath of the self-immolation: Kirti monks intervened when police were beating Phuntsog and took him back to the monastery before ensuring he received medical treatment. The Chinese authorities’ official statement included the false claim that the monks “forcibly took [Phuntsog] out of the hospital.”

Two sources from Kirti monastery in exile told ICT: “When Phuntsog was taken back to the monastery, there was little hope of his surviving, but as he was not yet dead, there was still a chance. Without government permission, they knew the hospital would not take him. So the monks decided to give into the government so that he could be admitted to hospital. He passed away there at around 3 am local time today (March 17).”

The official state media account not only gave misleading information about Phuntsog’s identify, but also claims: “Shortly after he set himself on fire, a policeman on patrol found him, put out the flames and rushed him to a nearby hospital…But a group of monks from the Kirti Monastery forcibly took him out of the hospital later in the afternoon and hid him inside the monastery, regardless of his injuries.”

Kirti was soon placed under lockdown and monks subjected to a stringent patriotic education campaign as part of a wide-spread crackdown in Ngaba that included several hundred security personnel posted to Kirti monastery. Around 300 monks were taken away from the monastery in large trucks to unknown locations for the purpose of “legal education,” and two elderly Tibetans were beaten to death by police while they were participating in a vigil at the gates of the monastery in an attempt to protect the monks during a security raid on the monastery.

In an official statement released on April 29 in English, the Chinese state media claimed that the reports by the international media citing ICT on the deaths of the two Tibetans were “fictitious” and that an “86-year-old female herder died of lung disease at her home in Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.”

Exiled sources from the area reported that contrary to the official report, the two people who died in their attempt to prevent monks from being moved from the monastery by armed police on April 21 were Dongko (male), aged 60, and 65-year old Sherkyi (female). The two Tibetans died after severe beatings.

Dramatic footage from Ngaba was released on April 19, a month after it was taken, which refutes the Chinese government’s assertions on April 19 that the situation is “normal” and “harmonious.”

Kirti monk Losang Tenzin, age 22, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment, and a Kirti monk also called Losang Tenzin (known too as Nak Ten) was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Barkham (Chinese: Ma’erkang) County People’s Court, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province on August 30. On Monday, August 29, 46-year old Kirti monk Losang Tsondru (named in the state media as Drongdru), who was detained on April 12, was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment by the same court. All three sentences were reported in the Chinese state media, with Xinhua reporting on August 31 that the two monks sentenced on August 30 “plotted, instigated and assisted in the self-immolation of fellow monk Rigzin Phuntsog, causing his death” (Xinhua, August 31, 2011). The same article stated: “Drongdru was given the sentence because he hid the injured monk and prevented emergency treatment, causing delayed treatment and the subsequent death for his disciple and nephew, according to the verdict.”

On around May 2, 31-year old Kirti monk Losang Dargye of Me’uruma township was sentenced to three years in prison by the Ngaba county People’s Court. Losang Dargye became a monk at a young age, and in 2003 he travelled to Lhasa to begin higher Buddhist studies at Drepung monastery, which he completed with distinction. He is believed to have been among a group of Drepung monks who peacefully protested on March 10, 2008, and was detained for some months before being allowed to return to Ngaba. He was detained on April 11 this year in a raid by police and soldiers on his quarters in the monastery.

Kirti monk Konchok Tsultrim, age 33, from the rural area of Tawa Gongma was arrested after March 16. He was sentenced around the beginning of May to three years in prison by the Ngaba county People’s Court, and is now likely to serve his sentence outside Ngaba county. Konchok Tsultrim was serving as the monastery storekeeper. Details of the exact charges against him are not known.

State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner, in response to a question at a daily press briefing on April 14, said: “We have seen that Chinese security forces have cordoned off the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province. They’ve also imposed onerous restrictions on the monks and the general public. And we believe these are inconsistent with internationally-recognized principles of religious freedom and human right. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and are obviously concerned by it.”

Asked if the US has raised this matter with China, Toner said: “Yes, I believe we raised it with the Chinese, as we would raise any human rights concerns.”

On June 8, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) of the UN Human Rights Council called upon the Chinese authorities “to disclose the fate and whereabouts of all those who have been subject to enforced disappearances in China, including a group of Tibetan monks whose fate or whereabouts still remain unknown.”

ICT Reports:

Tapey

TapeyDate: February 27, 2009
Protest location: Ngaba county town, Ngaba county, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province
Age: Mid-20s

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Unknown

Info: Tapey, a Kirti monk in his mid-twenties, was shot by security personnel when he set himself on fire as a form of protest after prayer ceremonies at his monastery were cancelled. Early in the afternoon, according to at least two sources including one who spoke to an eyewitness, Tapey walked alone to a nearby crossroads in the market area of the town. He had already doused himself with oil by the time he reached the crossroads. He then set himself on fire and raised a home-made Tibetan flag that had at its center a photograph of the Dalai Lama. When Tapey began to shout slogans (no details are yet known of what he said), People’s Armed Police (PAP) personnel stationed nearby opened fire, and Tapey fell to the ground. Reports indicate that the PAP extinguished the fire after Tapey was shot and he was immediately taken away by police.

ICT Report:

 

 

 

 

Map: Tibetan self-immolations from 2009-2012

Last Updated: February 23, 2012, 12:42 EST

Since 2009 there have been 23 confirmed self-immolations within Tibet, 12 occurring in 2011 and 10 in 2012. Below is a map marking the locations of the self-immolations; 15 in Ngaba, two in Tawu and one in Kardze, Yulshul, Chamdo, Dzamtang and Darlag county.

Detailed information about each self-immolation can be found on our self-immolation fact sheet.

Click map for larger image

Note on geography:
Tibet was traditionally comprised of three main areas: Amdo (north-eastern Tibet), Kham (eastern Tibet) and U-Tsang (central and western Tibet). The Tibet Autonomous Region was set up by the Chinese government in 1965 and covers the area of Tibet west of the Dri-chu (Yangtse river), including part of Kham. The rest of Amdo and Kham have been incorporated into Chinese provinces, and where Tibetan communities were said to have ‘compact inhabitancy’ in these provinces they were designated Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties. As a result most of Qinghai and parts of Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces are acknowledged by the Chinese government to be ‘Tibetan.’ ICT uses the term ‘Tibet’ to refer to all Tibetan areas currently under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China.

 

Author:

I am a Bhikshuni ordained in Mahayana Chinese Buddhist tradition. I'm currently translating Vinaya sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.