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Young Tibetan Mother Dies After Self-Immolation

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A young mother of two called Dolkar Kyi set fire to herself and died today near Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province (the Tibetan area of Amdo).

Her death follows the self-immolation yesterday of a 21-year old Kirti monk Lobsang Tsultrim in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) who is believed to have survived. (Images of Dolkar Kyi and Lobsang Tsultrim).

Dolkar Kyi, who is in her mid-twenties and from a farming family, set fire to herself early this afternoon near a white stupa (reliquary building) at Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery in Tsoe City (Chinese: Hezuo). According to Tibetan sources in exile from her home area, she called out for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and shouted that there was no freedom in Tibet.

The same Tibetan exile sources said that the first people to witness her self-immolation were elderly people circumambulating the Tsoe Gaden Choeling monastery. Monks then rushed out of the monastery and extinguished the flames. A photograph of her blackened body after they did so has reached Tibetans in exile (please note, image is harrowing. Monks carried Dolkar Kyi to hospital, and although doctors and medical staff attempted to save her, it was not possible.

Monks took her body back to the village where she was born, Tasur, in Nawu Township, which is around 10 kilometers from Tsoe City (eight townships are administered by the authorities in Tsoe). Local people have gathered to pray for her.

Dolkar Kyi leaves a four-year old son and two-year old daughter. According to exile Tibetan sources in touch with Tibetans in the area, two days ago she was seen at the monastery with her husband, praying at every one of the temples inside. Instead of returning to their home in a different village, the couple then left to go to the village where Dolkar Kyi was born and where her parents still live.

Tibetans from the Tsoe area have been active in expressing peaceful opposition to Chinese rule, with known protests in 2008 and 2010 by local people and in particular Tibetan students and schoolchildren.

Almost a year ago, a respected scholar monk who made the first video testimony from inside Tibet to be uploaded onto Youtube detailing his detention was detained in Tsoe (Hezuo). Jigme Guri (also known as Labrang Jigme) was detained on August 20, 2011, and held for some time for interrogation in a hotel in Tsoe. His current whereabouts is unknown and there are fears for his welfare.

Self-immolation of Kirti monk Lobsang Tsultrim

Twenty-one year old Kirti monk Lobsang Tsultrim set fire to himself yesterday in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) town in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo).

According to Kirti monks in exile in India, Lobsang Tsultrim was heard shouting as he set himself on fire but what he said is not known. The area where he self-immolated has become known locally as 'Heroes Street' following Tapey's self-immolation in February, 2009, the first in Tibet.

According to the exile Kirti monks, Lobsang Tsultrim attempted to walk along the main street towards the office building of the Forestry Department before he fell to the ground, and armed police emerged and extinguished the flames. A local Tibetan told the Kirti monks in Dharamsala that Lobsang Tsultrim was still alive when police took him away. He is believed to have been taken to the local government hospital, and then removed elsewhere. His current whereabouts and welfare is not known.

Lobsang Tsultrim was born in Ryiwa village, Cha Township in Ngaba, and he joined Kirti monastery when he was very young. He was a classmate of Phuntsog, who self-immolated on March 16, 2011, and is said to have loved playing basketball. Lobsang Tsultrim is said to have suffered a great deal and may have been detained following the crackdown in Ngaba from March 16, 2008, when at least ten Tibetans were killed by Chinese troops after peaceful protest. He is the 27th Tibetan from Ngaba to self-immolate since February, 2009, and the eighth Kirti monk to do so.

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