DHARAMSALA, Jul 10: Sonam Topgyal, a 26-yr-old Tibetan Buddhist monk has set himself on fire in eastern Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s repressive rule in Tibet.
Sonam Tobgyal staged his protest through self-immolation around 6pm (local time) on Jul 9 at the main square in Kyegundo in Yushul Prefecture in traditional Tibetan Province of Kham.
Out of three pictures received from Tibet, two of them show Sonam burning in flames near what looks like a flagpole with several onlookers nearby with mobile phones in their hand and another one shows Chinese police condoning of the area.
“Chinese police arrived within minutes at the protest site and took him away, probably to a hospital,” said a Tibetan source.
Sonam Topgyal’s condition and whereabouts remain unknown and due to the restrictions placed on communication channels such phone and internet lines in the area, details about the incident could not be ascertained immediately.
Sonam Topgyal became the sixth Tibetan to have self-immolated this year against Chinese rule in Tibet and the 142nd known Tibetan to have self-immolated inside Tibet since February 2009 when Tapey, a monk of Kirti monastery set himself on fire in eastern Tibet.
The latest self-immolation protest comes a day after the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution calling on Chinese government to address the critical human rights situation in Tibet and to hold ‘substantive dialogue, without preconditions, in order to address Tibetan grievances and secure a negotiated agreement for the Tibetan people’.