Two Self-Immolations as U.S., China Trade Accusations

Two more Tibetans died after setting themselves on fire today during gatherings to mark Gaden Ngamchoe, a Buddhist day of prayer, bringing the total number of self-immolations since 2009 to 94. From Dharamsala-based Phayul: Pema Dorjee, 23, set himself on fire in the Luchu region of eastern Tibet at around 4:30 pm (local time). A group of exiled Tibetans from the region told Phayul that he succumbed to his injuries at the protest site. “Martyr Pema Dorjee set himself on fire in front of the main assembly hall of the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu,” the group said. “A large number of Tibetans who were at the Monastery to offer prayers witnessed the self-immolation protest.” And another Phayul article describes the second self-immolation: The exile base of the Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, in a release, said that Kunchok Phelgye set himself on fire in front of the main assembly hall of the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery at around 5:20 pm (local time). “Kunchok Phelgye was enveloped in flames and his hands were joined in prayers as he raised slogans for the long life and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche, the exiled head of Kirti Monastery,” the release said citing sources in the region. “He also raised slogans calling for the return and reunification of Tibetans.” Kunchok Phelgye succumbed to his injuries at the site of his protest. Monks of the Monastery surrounded Kunchok Phelgye’s burning body and began to recite the prayer, “Losang Gyalwa Kungi Nyingje Ter…” (usually recited in Kirti Rinpoche’s honour). Later, Kunchok Phelgye’s body was carried to his quarters in the Monastery where hundreds of monks and local Tibetans continue to visit to offer their last respects and prayers. See also a report from Radio Free Asia. Last week, the U.S. State ...
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