Dharamshala, India — A Tibetan youth burned himself to death Sunday shouting slogans calling for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet, in a restive county in Ngaba County of north-eastern Tibet where Chinese authorities have imposed among the tightest controls to check self-immolation protests, said sources with links to the region.
23-year-old Dopo, a Tibetan youth in Amdo Ngawa of Tibet who set himself on November 4, 2018 to protest the Chinese repressive policies in Tibet, has died from his injuries. "He set himself on fire, shouting “May the Dalai Lama live long!
May we soon behold his golden countenance!” before he died," said Dharamsala-based monk Kanyak Tsering, who is in close contact with Ngaba's Kirti monastery.
"Dopo is from Jakorma village in the Choejema area of Ngawa county. His father’s name is Chopa, and his mother, Trinle Kyi, passed away a few years ago. He had been living at the house of his uncle Jampal Drakpa," the souces said citing contacts in the region.
Kanyak Tsering and Lobsang Yeshi, both monks at Kirti's sister monastery in northern India, further said that "this is the 41st confirmed self-immolation protest in Tibet's Ngawa County so far."
The self-immolations by Tibetans monks, nuns and laypeople aim to highlight harsh China rule and the oppression of Tibet’s Buddhist culture, as well as appeal for the return of exiled spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The latest self-immolation by Dopo brought the total verified number of self-immolations inside Tibet to 153. Of these, 129 are known to have died while the status of the rest remains unknown. Most of the self-immolators called for the return of the Dalai Lama and freedom for the people of Tibet and while many of the self-immolators called out for independence for Tibet.
The Chinese Communist regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.