Tibetan Teenager Stages Self-Immolation Protest in Gansu

A 16-year-old student in a Tibetan region of Gansu staged a self-immolation protest on May 2 against Chinese rule, RFA’s Tibetan service has learned.

A source inside Tibet said Chagdor Kyab from Bora Township, in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Amdo, set himself on fire near Bora monastery, a branch of Labrang Tashikyil monastery.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Chagdor Kyab, a student from a farming family, shouted “Tibet wants freedom” and “Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama come back to Tibet” while he burned.

While his body was on fire the teenager tried to run towards the Chinese government offices of Bora Township but he fell down before reaching the offices. Chinese police and military swiftly arrived at the scene and extinguished the flames and took away the body, the source told RFA.

It was not clear on Saturday whether Chagdor Kyab was alive or dead. The source in Tibet identified his mother as Dolma Tso and his father as Zoepa, farmers from Dardo in Bora Township.

Following the self-immolation, the local Chinese authorities imposed tight restrictions in the area which made it difficult to obtain further information.

Since 2009 four Tibetans from Bora have self-immolated, and the May 2 protest brought to 149 the number of self-immolations by Tibetans living in China since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009. Of these, 125 are known to have died.

(Reported by Lumbum Tashi and edited and translated by Kalden Lodoe. Written in English by Paul Eckert)

(Tibetan monks gather at Gansu’s Labrang monastery in a file photo. AFP)

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