Two Tibetans die after self-immolation

Sutirtho Patranobis

Beijing, Oct. 6 -- A Tibetan writer who demanded the return of exiled leader of the community Dalai Lama and more freedom for Tibetans died after setting himself on fire on Friday, a rights group said on Saturday.

Identified by his first name, Gudrub, 43, was the 53rd person to self-immolate since 2009, the International Campaign for Tibet said in a statement on its website.

"Gudrub was the second Tibetan to die after self-immolating in less than a week, with 27-year old Tibetan man named Yangdang setting himself on fire on September 29, 2012 in Dzato (Chinese: Zadou) county, Yushul (Chinese: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai provice (Tibetan area of Kham)," the rights group said.

Quoting Voice of America, the group said: ". a group of Tibetans transported Gudrub's body to hospital, where authorities took him into their custody. A doctor later told the group that Gudrub had died, but authorities would not release his body."

"Tibetans who are concerned about the welfare of the people are subjected to arbitrary arrests and beatings," Gudrub wrote earlier this year in an essay translated by the Tibetan service of the US-based Voice of America.

"Tibetans who refuse to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama or accept China's rule (of) Tibet are secretly killed or made to disappear."

As a result, Gudrub added, Tibetans "are sharpening our non-violent movement (and) declaring the reality of Tibet by burning our own bodies to call for freedom in Tibet."

The Chinese government was yet to react to the latest cases of immolations

The Chinese government maintains that the self-immolations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and elsewhere are instigated by the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, Dalai Lama, based out of Dharamshala in India. Authorities have said all regions in China where ethnic Tibetans live, especially the Tibetan Autonomous Region were on the path to development and separatists were trying to disrupt growth.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.