A Monk Teacher died of self immolation

FEBRUARY 18, 2012, DHARAMSALA, INDIA — The Central Tibetan Administration is deeply concerned and shocked over the recent news of yet another self-immolation that occurred around 6am local time at the ground of Bongthak Monastery, Amdo in North Eastern Tibet on Friday, 17 February 2012.

Dhamchoe Sangpo, a monk in his late 30s, set fire to himself and died during a festival in the monastery, where several villagers gathered for the prayer services.

Dhamchoe Sangpo was a teacher at the monastic school, and a member of the Democratic Management Committee of the monastery, the government-controlled bodies to control monasteries.

It is reported that earlier during the Chinese New Year, on 23 January, Chinese security personnel came to the monastery and intensified the patriotic re-education campaign, which was later disrupted with protests. Dhamchoe Sangpo had told the police to leave the monastery as it is a place for monks and not for police officers, but the latter stayed and warned that the monastery would be shut down if the monks failed to attend the patriotic re-education sessions.

Bongthak monastery, which has around 80 monks, is cut off from the rest of the area with checkpoints to monitor and prevent anyone from entering and leaving. Security restrictions have been tightened and phone lines have also been cut.

As previously expressed, the Central Tibetan Administration wishes to remind all the Tibetan communities across the world and friends of Tibet to carry out any solidarity activities peacefully, in accordance with the laws of your country, and with dignity. In keeping with these guiding principles, the Central Tibetan Administration does not endorse activities such as the burning of the Chinese Flag.

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