Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tibetan Self-immolates in Ngaba

Map of self-immolations in Tibet, or near Tibet
Map of self-immolations in Tibet, or near Tibet

A women in Tibet has died after setting herself on fire in the first reported self-immolation protest of 2015.

The Free Tibet organization said the woman, Norchuk, was in her forties. It says she self-immolated Friday near Trotsuk township in Ngaba county. It says authorities took her remains and cremated her before her family could carry out a funeral.

A day later, a monk in Ngaba protested by walking through a town and shouting for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet.

In December, three Tibetans self-immolated in one week.

Sources tell VOA that one of them was a monk named Kalsang Yeshi who went to a security post outside his monastery in China's Sichuan province and called for Tibetan freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama before setting himself on fire.

He is believed to have died at the scene, although his body was taken away by Chinese security forces..

The refusal of the police to allow family members to know of his condition or to hand over his body for proper funeral rites has led to a tense situation in the area where all Internet and phone communications have been cut off.

His self-immolation follows that of Sangay Khar, a 34-year-old father of two, on December 16, and Tsepey Kyi, a 20-year-old woman.

Authorities have not commented on any of the recent self-immolations.

There have been more than 130 such acts in Tibetan areas of China since 2009, but they have been less frequent in recent months, following the imposition of fines and other penalties for families and others with close ties to self-immolators.

Last month, Tibetans in exile said a court in southwestern China gave out two- and three-year prison terms to three Tibetans for their alleged involvement in a self-immolation last year.

China has said the suicide protests are acts of terrorism.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.