Tibet’s president-in-exile has called on the Chinese government to address the grievances of Tibetans in Tibet after a young man set himself on fire last week.
According to several sources, 30-year-old Konpe set himself ablaze in the infamous “Martyr’s Lane” in Ngaba town in Ngaba County, Sichuan Province, Dec. 23. Many Tibetans have self-immolated in Ngaba town, in eastern Tibet since 2009.
Expressing deep concern at the self-immolation, President Dr. Lobsang Sangay said: “Despite repeated appeals from the Central Tibetan Administration, at least 151 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet since 2009. The Chinese government should realize that the cause as well as the solution to this wave of fiery protests lie with the Chinese government itself.”
“The Chinese government should address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people and review the failed policies that have engendered the grim situation and Tibetans resorting to self immolation to protest the Chinese rule in Tibet,” he added.
Sources say the self-immolator raised slogans for Tibet’s freedom before Chinese authorities arrived at the scene and took away his body. It was not clear whether he was dead or alive.
Last month an elderly monk named Tenga set himself on fire and died later in Kardze County in eastern Tibet’s Kham region.
Konpe’s self-immolation brings the total number of self-immolation protests in Tibet to 152 since 2009. The majority of those protesters have died. The protesters have called for freedom for Tibet and return of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.