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Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates in China; Another Dies in Police Custody


Activists display portraits of people who killed themselves by self-immolation take part in a rally to support Tibet, Taipei, Taiwan, March 10, 2013.

Activists display portraits of people who killed themselves by self-immolation take part in a rally to support Tibet, Taipei, Taiwan, March 10, 2013.

A Tibetan monk in China's Gansu province has set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule and call for the return of the Dalai Lama, according to recent news reports by China Xinhua News Agency.
The man, identified as Tsultrim Gyatso, set himself on fire and burned to death Thursday in Amchok, a town with a large ethnic Tibetan population.
Portion of handwritten note left by behind by Tibetan monk Tsultrim Gyatso, unknown location.

Portion of handwritten note left by behind by Tibetan monk Tsultrim Gyatso, unknown location.

A note that he left behind, obtained by VOA's Tibetan service from Tibetan exile sources, said in part “The oppressors have robbed our land’s treasures, the oppressors have stolen our peace and happiness.”
According to a man who would only give his name as Anjum, a native of Amchok now living in exile, authorities made his family conduct a rushed funeral service.
"The authorities ordered Tsultrim Gyatso’s family to cremate his body immediately, not allowing time for proper funeral prayers and services," he said. "This has caused a lot of anguish and anger in the community."
Exiled Tibetans are also reporting that 45-year-old Ngawang Jamyang, a Tibetan monk and scholar, has been beaten to death in Chinese police custody.
Ngawang Jamyang, a Tibetan monk, age 45, who is said to have died in police custody in China, seen teaching, unknow location, undated.

Ngawang Jamyang, a Tibetan monk, age 45, who is said to have died in police custody in China, seen teaching, unknow location, undated.

Jamyang, from the restive Driru area of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, was detained along with two other monks on November 23 while visiting Lhasa. The circumstances of his death are not clear and Chinese officials have not commented on the case.
According to one Belgium-based observer of Driru unrest in who identified himself as Samdup said Jamyang’s body was given to his family along with a warning on Tuesday.
"They told me he was killed from severe torture," Samdup said. "His family was warned that anyone who tells about his death to outside would be executed.'"
The fate of the other two monks remains unknown.
In August, the government in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) launched a special patriotic campaign in Driru, ordering villagers to fly Chinese national flags from their rooftops. But people in at least two villages reportedly dumped the flags into a river.
Since then, there have been reports of protests, arrests and shootings by police.
Meanwhile, Wu Yingjie, the vice secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in TAR, recently completed a visit to Spain, where a court has issued arrest warrants for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and three others for alleged rights abuses in Tibet.
Spanish media reports say Wu, the man who launched the patriotic campaign in Driru, lobbied officials in Madrid to halt the court case.
Since 2009, more than 120 Tibetans demanding the return of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan freedom have self-immolated.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.

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