Self-immolation in Ngaba

December 23, 2017;

2017 /Koenpe, a young Tibetan man in his late 20s, self-immolated near Kirti monastery in Ngaba in Tibet on December 23 and died in hospital the following day. The incident took place on “martyr’s lane” where many people have self-immolated and a video circulating on social media showed him engulfed by flames. Witness statements have been reported saying that police arrived within minutes and removed the body. His family were summoned to collect his remains but his father was arrested on arrival and charged several thousand yuan to pay for his son’s treatment. Koenpe’s father and mother are Gyakyap and Thindok, who live in Cha village in Chuleb Gongma along with his two brothers and three sisters.  Koenpe lived in division 2 of Meruma township with his wife Kalsang Lhamo. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said he feels “helpless” and that these acts demonstrate the desperation the Tibetan people living under China’s repressive policies. The Tibetan Government-in-Exile has reiterated their plea for people to refrain from self-immolating and for the Chinese government to “realise that the cause, as well as the solution to this wave of fiery protests, lie with the Chinese government itself”.

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