(TibetanReview.net, Jul11, 2015) – In yet another grim reminder of the tragic situation in Chinese ruled Tibet, a 26-year-old monk has torched himself in Kyegudo (Chinese: Jiegu) County of Yulshul (Yushu) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, on Jul 9. The incident made Sonam Tobgyal, a 26-year-old local Tibetan monk, the sixth person to adopt such a gruesome method of protest in Tibet this year and the 142nd since Feb 2009.
The incident was reported to have occurred on the county-town’s Gesar Square at around 6PM. Tibetans who saw the fiery protest rushed the monk to hospital. It was not clear whether the monk survived and if so how badly he was injured. Online reports show pictures of a young monk lying on the ground with flames leaping from his body.
Very little information is available about the incident. According to Beijing-based Tibetan blog activists Ms Woeser, writing on her online social media pages, a large number of special paramilitary troops arrived at Kyegudo soon after the incident and blocked the main roads leading to the self-immolation site. All communication services, including telephone lines and Internet, were shut down.
The monk originally belongs to Yulshul Prefecture’s Nangchen (Nangqian) County. He studied Buddhism for seven years at Dzongsar Monastery in Dege County of Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture, Sichuan Province, said Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) Jul 10.
TCHRD said China had since more than a month ago blocked all Internet lines in Golog (Guoluo) Prefecture (Qinghai Province), 11 counties of Kardze Prefecture (Sichuan Province), and some parts of Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture, (Sichuan Province). This made it difficult to get updates on the situation in these areas, the centre added.