DHARAMSALA, May 21: A Tibetan father of four has set himself on fire in eastern Tibet on May 20 to protest against ‘excesses’ by Chinese security forces that have been deployed in unusually large numbers in his hometown.
Tenzin Gyatso, aged 35, set himself on fire at around 8 pm (local time) on May 20 in Khangsar township in Tawu county in eastern Tibet’s traditional Kham province. Chinese policemen immediately arrived at the protest site, tried to extinguish the fire and took him away. It is not known whether he survived the fiery protest or succumbed to the burn injuries.
Sources say Gyatso was upset with the deployment of large number of Chinese police and armed security forces in Khangsar township who were harassing and intimidating the local Tibetans.
“Gyatso set himself on fire to protest the ongoing ‘excesses’ by the Chinese security forces in the town,” a source said citing local Tibetans as saying.
Tenzin Gyatso, a native of Khunan village in Khangsar township was married to Sonam Dolma and has four children, Tobdhen, Thupten, Tsering Tsomo and Tsewang Gyatso.
Due to increased restrictions in the area following the incident further details could not be ascertained.
Tenzin Gyatso’s fiery protest has pushed the total number of known Tibetans to have self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule from inside Tibet to 139 since February 2009.