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Tibetan Review

Three more Tibetans self-immolate on Nov 17, toll now up to 79

(, Nov19, 2012) Amid continuing Chinese government indifference to the tragedy in Tibet and mounting crackdown and repression on protests there, two more Tibetans have immolated themselves in Rebgong (Chinese: tongren) County of Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, and one more in Tsoe (Chinese: Hezuo) City in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province, on Nov 17. The incidents bring to up to 79 the number of Tibetans who have carried out such fiery, suicide protests against Chinese rule since Feb 2009.

In the first incident, Chagmo Tso, a mother of two, carried out burned herself to death on the Dolma Square in front of Rongwo Monastery in Rongwo Town, the county’s administrative centre, at around 4:00 PM.

Tibetans carried her body to the monastery, where prayer services were held for her.  Late in the evening the same day, her mortal remains were cremated on a hill behind the monastery with loud reciting of prayers by thousands of Tibetans who had gathered there. The crowd had earlier scuffled with the Chinese paramilitary People’s Armed Police and wrested back her body when they tried to take her away.

The woman, a native of Meypa Khagya Village, used to ply a taxi service to the provincial capital Xining and Tsekhog (Chinese: Zeku) County for her living. 

At about the time Chagmo Tso was being cremated, Sangdhag Tsering, 24, torched himself in front of the local government office in Dhokar Mo Township, reported Radio Free Asia (Wshington) Nov 17. It said the incident occurred just hours after local authorities had issued an order, restricting Tibetans from paying respects to self-immolators or grieving with the families of such Tibetans.

Chinese security agents attempted to put out the fire but the man, who had a three-year-old child, burned to death, the report added. He is survived by his wife Phagmo Tso, 24, and parents as well.

“He had lamented to his wife and close friends that there is no freedom in Tibet, they are unable to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is not allowed to return to Tibet....and there is no point for him now to stay alive," a source was quoted as saying.

The two Nov 17 incidents bring to 78 (76 according to the exile Tibetan administration’s list) the number of Tibetans in Tibet who have staged self-immolation protests against Chinese rule since Feb 2009, with 63 (61) of them having died. Nine of the self-immolation deaths took place in Rebgong alone in the last ten days.

Also, AP Nov 17 cited China’s official Xinhua news agency as saying that day that an 18-year-old Tibetan villager had died after setting himself on fire in Hezuo (Tibetan: Tsoe) City of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province, on the same day. Citing provincial government sources, the report said the self-immolation occurred in front of a monastery in the afternoon.

Exile Tibetan groups and other news services have not yet reported on this incident. (See 

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Last updated on Nov 19, 2012 18:14:17