China shoots two Tibetans to snatch self-immolated monk

Kalsang Yeshe in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Kalsang Yeshe in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Dec 26, 2014) – Further reports about an incident in Chinese ruled Tibet in which a monk carried out a protest self-immolation on Dec 23 suggest that Chinese police shot and seriously injured two Tibetans in the course of grabbing and taking away the fatally injured monk. The police reportedly fired into a crowd of Tibetans as they moved to secure and take away Kalsang Yeshe, 38, who had set himself ablaze outside his Tawu Nyitso monastery in Tawu (Chinese: Daofu) County of Kardze ( Ganzi) Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

The monk died while being taken to hospital, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Dec 24. Various reports said he was holding a Tibetan national flag as he carried out his fiery suicide protest, shouting calls for return from exile of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and for freedom for Tibetans. It was also discovered that he had placed a ceremonial scarf underneath the image of the Dalai Lama in his room with a caption saying “The six million Tibetans are waiting for you.”

The two injured Tibetans were standing guard over the monk when they were shot, the report said, citing an exile Tibetan who in turn was informed by Tsering, one of the wounded monks. The shooting dispersed the Tibetan crowd at the site.

When the monk’s family later sought his body for carrying out the traditional death rituals, they were informed that it had already been cremated, with the ashes having been discarded into a river in Dartsedo (Kangding). In having done so, the authorities had ignored the same request from the abbot of Tawu Nyitso Monastery.

Thousands of nuns, monks and lay people were reported to have gathered at the monastery to pray for the deceased monk for several days.


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