(TibetanReview.net, Aug30, 2015) – A 55-year-old mother of five has died in Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) County of Kanlho (Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province, hours after she set herself on fire on Aug 27 night, according to a number of online reports Aug 28. While the reason for the self-immolation by Tashi Kyi, a resident of Ngulra village, Sangkhog town, is unclear yet, the immediate provocation appears to be China’s forced demolition of a Tibetan home, or homes, earlier in the day.
Tashi Kyi died around 3:00 am and Chinese police came took away her body by force at daybreak.
More than 150 Chinese officials and police were reported to have arrived in the village – which was a “New Socialist Village” set up for forced settlement of former Tibetan nomads – with bulldozers to carry out the demolition, claiming the owners lacked proper documents. A number of Tibetans were reported to have hung on to the bulldozers in vain attempts to stop the demolition. There were reported to have been clashes, with an unknown number of Tibetans being taken away.
While one report (voatibetanenglish.com, Aug 28) said the authorities demolished one home to stake an official claim to it, others said several homes were destroyed.
The woman was economically well-off, owing a three-storied building near Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery, apart from her new socialist village home where she carried out the self-immolation, according to Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Aug 29. She was said to be a highly religious person and to have visited India twice for pilgrimage, including in 2012 when she attended the Kalachakra teaching by the Dalai Lama.
Tashi Kyi’s self immolation is the 7th in Tibet this year and 143rd across the Tibetan Plateau since Feb 2009.