Tibetan man’s death leads to wider anti-mining protests

DHARAMSALA, MAY 12: A Tibetan man’s death after he jumped from a high government building in Tongbar Township in Tsawa Dzogang region in traditional Tibet’s Kham Province to protest against a Chinese mining project has led to mass protests by Tibetan residents of the area, with another Tibetan man stabbing himself in order to halt the mining project.

Phagpa Gyaltsen, 39 died instantly after he stabbed himself and jumped from a high government building on May 7 in Tongbar Township in Tsawa Dzogang County. Phagpa jumped to his death when Chinese authorities attempted to seize him after he raised slogans calling for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life and freedom in Tibet.

Shouting “I would rather take my own life than die at Chinese hands,” Phagpa jumped from the top of the building, a Tibetan living in Dharamsala quoted sources in the region as saying.

Following Phagpa’s death, several Tibetans including a Tibetan man named Rinzin carried his body to his family home where many area residents came to condole the deceased’s family and express their solidarity.

Rinzin, 34 went onto the roof of the deceased’s house and tried to jump from the roof top after stabbing himself thrice but other Tibetans stopped him and took him to a hospital in Chamdo where he is said to be critical but surviving.

Tibetan residents of the area are currently protesting outside the government office to halt the mining project.

Chinese authorities had earlier tried to lure the Tibetans with money and even arrested several Tibetans who were guarding the mining site.





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