Self-immolation in Tibet continues in protest of Chinese occupation

A young man burned himself alive on Saturday Dec.23 in Eastern Tibet, the sixth person this year

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Portraits of Tibetans who have chosen to self-immolate (file photo 2015, cropped)

Portraits of Tibetans who have chosen to self-immolate (file photo 2015, cropped) (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Saturday Dec. 23, a 30 year old Tibetan Man set himself ablaze along the infamous “Martyr’s Lane” in the town of Ngawa in Sichuan.

The 30 year old man, named Konpe, is the most recent in a long line of martyrs who have chosen to self-immolate in protest of the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Following the events of Dec.23, the president of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, called on China to address the grievances of Tibetans suffering under the Chinese government, according to VOA.


The president of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, April 2015 (Image: Associated Press)

Since 2009, there have been 151 Tibetans have chosen to die as martyrs by self-immolation. Expressing his concern about the problem the president said that the Chinese government must recognize that the problem of this issue, and the solution both lie with them.

Witnesses say Konpe was shouting slogans promoting Tibetan Independence before he set himself aflame around 6p.m. on Saturday evening. Shortly after, Chinese authorities arrived to remove the man.

Some alleged footage of the incident has been shared through the internet.

He was reportedly taken to a hospital, but died of his wounds on the morning of Dec. 24. Authorities then immediately cremated the body despite requests of the family members to receive the body, reports the Tibet Post.

Konpe was reportedly a former monk of the Kirti Monastery. He is the sixth person to carry out a self-immolation protest in 2017, with the previous occurring on Nov. 26 by a monk named Tenga.

The protesters generally demand an end to the occupation of Tibet, and a call for religious freedom, respect and humane treatment from the Chinese government.


An alleged image of Konpe (courtesy of The Tibet Post)