Further news has emerged about the self-immolation in Ngaba on January 14, following which police opened fire and shot at least two Tibetans.
“Local residents began a protest on Saturday after police brutally beat a man who set himself on fire while extinguishing the blaze“, said the advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet, based in London.
“Tibetans who observed this act reacted indignantly and gathered in what appeared to be a spontaneous demonstration,” said Kate Saunders of the group via email.
The Tibetan who set himself on fire was a former monk in his early twenties who has been identified as Losang Jamyang from a Shewa village in the Andu area of Ngaba, formerly from Andu monastery. According to exiled Tibetan sources, at around 1:30 pm he doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire. He walked into the street calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet, according to the same sources.
Police began to kick and beat him with clubs spiked with nails rather than immediately focusing on putting out the flames. According to two Kirti monks in Dharamsala, India, who have spoken to several individuals in the area: “Unable to bear this sight, local Tibetans on the scene stood up to the armed security personnel without regard for their own lives, and shouting that the body should be handed over to them, tried their best to block their path as they tried to take him away.”
Police responded by detaining and beating Tibetans and a woman who has been named as Choki Dawa was apparently so seriously injured that she is in critical condition, and another woman was blinded in one eye. Police then opened fire and two women were wounded when they were shot. Their names are not known, nor are details of those detained.
Losang Jamyang died after his self-immolation but reports about the time of his death differ. He was taken away by police, and one of the most reliable reports suggest that he may have survived until Monday (January 16).
Losang Jamyang became a monk at the local Andu monastery (of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism) as a child, but later joined a primary school (Bontse school) in Ngaba county (Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Amdo) and completed his education there. In 2011 he was a leading member of a popular association for the promotion of the Tibetan language in his village, and as a result had faced pressure from the local government authorities.