(TibetanReview.net, Dec15, 2018) – Two Tibetan teenagers, both said by one source to be monks, have reportedly carried out protest self-immolations in Chinese ruled Ngaba (or Ngawa, Chinese: Aba) County of Sichuan Province on Dec 9, a Sunday. Both the boys, Gedun Gyatso and Choekyi Gyatso, were stated to be aged about 16.
The Tibetan-language tibettimes.net Dec 14 cited a local source as saying one of the boys was taken to the Khyungchu (also known as Kakhog or Marthang, Chinese: Hongyuan) County hospital. The other boy was reportedly taken to a hospital in Barkham County, the seat of Ngaba Prefecture, suggesting that his injury was particularly severe.
Thetibetpost.com Dec 14 quoted Choedrup Rinpoche at Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement in Karnataka state, India, as saying, “They both were monks and they have set themselves on fire at the Heroes Street in Ngaba County while shouting slogans calling for political and religious freedom in Tibet.”
Available sources say one of the boys had died.
The county is one of the most disturbed in Chinese ruled Tibet and has constantly remained under tight restrictions and frequent crackdowns. Hence, very little information further is available about the incident other than that Gedun Gyatso’s father’s name is Zekar Soepa.
The last report brings the number of known protest self-immolations in Chinese ruled Tibet this year to five, and since Feb 2009 to up to 157, including 44 in Ngaba alone.
Earlier, on Dec 8, Drugkho, about 22, set himself on fire outside the Ngaba County Public Security Bureau, said the Tibetan Service of voanews.com Dec 10.
Before him, a 23-year-old man named Dobo was reported to have immolated himself and died in the same county on Nov 4, shouting prayers of long life for Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and for the latter’s right to return to his homeland. He was a resident of Jhakorma village-level division of the county’s Choeje-Ma Township.
And in this year’s first protest self-immolation, Tsekho Tukchak, a father of two, torched himself and died in Ngaba’s Meuruma nomadic township on Mar 7, just ahead of the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day of Mar 10, 2018.