Yesterday, a mother of two, Dolkar Tso, from a farming family, set herself alight at a monastery in Gansu Province, which abuts the Tibetan Autonomous Region. She died from the flames. The International Campaign for Tibet in London cited exile sources in a statement saying she called out for the return of the Dalai Lama and for freedom in Tibet, following a pattern in other cases.
On Monday, a young monk from the Kirti monastery, 21-year-old Lobsang Tsultrim, set himself on fire in the region of Ngaba in Sichuan Province. Exile reports say he was still alive when taken away by a police car. Lobsang is the 27th monk from the Ngaba area to self-immolate, and the eighth from the Kirti monastery. His act took place on a street that is alternately being called “Martyrs Road” or “Heroes Road."
While the Dalai Lama has consistently opposed self-immolations as a violation on the sacredness of life, Tibetans are continuing to do it in an act seen as indicative of the depth of feeling and desperation. Self-immolations are new and not part of any previous Tibetan protest tradition.