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Chinese repression leads to Ngaba monk’s self-immolation

(TibetanReview.net, Mar 03, 2009) — The paramilitary People’s Armed Police (PAP) shot three times at a monk in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County of Sichuan Province on Feb 27 after he had immolated himself in protest at the main town crossroad, according to several Tibet groups and media sources. At least one shot hit the monk who collapsed to the ground, to be picked up and taken away by the troops. China has confirmed that the monk had suffered head and neck burns and it was not clear whether he was alive.

The monk, named as Tapey and aged 25 to 30, belonged to Kirti Trunkhor monastery. On Feb 27, the third day of the Tibetan Earth-Ox New Year, the around 1,000 monks of Kirti Monastery gathered before their main prayer hall for the annual Monlam prayer festival even though the authorities had banned it already. When blocked from entering it, they prepared to hold the prayer service outside. However, senior monks and Tibetan officials dispatched by the Chinese authorities eventually convinced them to return to their living quarters.

However, some time afterwards, Tapey left his monastery, carrying with him a homemade Tibetan flag, with a picture of the Dalai Lama attached to the centre. By the time he reached the main town crossroad, he had doused himself with kerosene or petrol and lit himself. Eyewitnesses heard him shout slogans but could not make out the words. A PAP squad posted nearby shot at him before proceeding to douse the flame and take him to hospital.

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