Remembering Tsering Kyi: A gifted student, a passionate Tibetan and another victim to China’s rule

Source: Phayul.com
On March 3rd this year, 19-year old Tsering Kyi finished school, purchased a can of petrol and self-immolated. Within moments she was engulfed in flames and yet for several seconds she stood still, her fist raised high in defiance before collapsing to the ground.

The teenager’s tragic death was reported earlier this month, and was not the first of its kind and unfortunately will not be the last as Tibetans continue to suffer under the oppressive rule of the Chinese government. A statement from the India-based Tibetan parliament in exile revealed how Chinese security arrived at the scene of the protest and locked down all movement and witnesses. It said:

“All mobile phones were confiscated in an attempt to stop the news of the protest from spreading. People at the scene of the protest were issued strict orders against speaking about the self-immolation”.

Despite the Chinese government’s attempt to silence and intimidate , Tsering’s act of protest did not go unheard and like her fellow Tibetans who have passed away in protest, her death was reported and felt around the world. Allegations of Tsering’s mental health were made in Chinese media outlets; the official Xinhua news agency reported her mentally unstable condition was caused by a blow to her head, which led to her grades beginning to suffer, and hence why she set herself aflame.

In spite of such reports, several Tibetan residents, friends and relatives of Tsering Kyi have resolutely denied these accusations. According to interviews conducted by British newspaper The Guardian, Tsering hailed from a nomad family and she was a bright and hard working student who was on the school’s honour roll. Her cousin remembers a girl who even when out in the pastures with her parents flock, would always have a book in her hand.

In 2010 she first joined fellow class mates at Maqu County Tibetan Middle School, in Ganus Provinence, to protest the new integration of new Chinese text books in Tibetan schools, and the decision to limit Tibetan to just a single class. The aftermath of these protest saw Chinese authorities crackdown even hasher on the regime with several teachers arrested and detained.

It is reported that just days before the incident, Tsering had said “in Ngaba and other areas of Tibet, Tibetans are burning themselves. We should do something – life is meaningless if we don’t do something for Tibet.”

Following her death, Tsering’s body was kept in custody at a local police station. Any attempt by her family to claim her body back for burial has been met with pre-agreement that must be signed that stipulates her self-immolation was not ‘political in nature’.

On the eve of Chinese President Hu Jintao visit to India this week, Tsering’s death is a appalling reality of how citizens live under his rule. Just today, a Tibetan exile identified as Jamphel Yeshi, was taken to hospital after setting himself alight in New Delhi; he was later taken to hospital and his status is currently unknown.

President Hu must address the numerous ongoing issues in Tibet; Tsering’s death is yet another case of how the current Chinese rule in Tibet is a failure and action must be taken to avoid any more tragedies.

Elderly Tibetan women mourns self-immolations in Tibet

TWA mourns the self immolation deaths of two female protesters this past weekend

Elderly Tibetan women mourns self-immolations in Tibet
March 5: Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolations in Tibet

Dharamsala, March 5: The Tibetan Women’s Association and its global network of regional chapters organized a candle light vigil this evening to mourn and express sublime solidarity with the deaths of two Tibetan women over the weekend: Rinchen (33), and Tsering Kyi (19), in Amdo, eastern Tibet. Yesterday- Richen, a widowed mother of 4 children from Ngaba, died after setting herself alight in front of a Chinese police surveillance station at the main gate of the Kirti monastery and calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. On Saturday, March 3, Tsering Kyi, a student from the Tibetan middle School in Machu, set herself ablaze at the vegetable market in Tro Kho Menma Shang village in Machu.

View the photographs of today’s candle light march in Dharamsala, India at the bottom of this post or on Flickr and Facebook.

Dolkar Kyab, a native of Machu and member of exile based Tibetan Parliament said that there is tightened security and communications blackout in Machu where every Tibetan household is being checked and the Tibetan middle school is under strict surveillance.

The subsequent incidences mark the first self-immolation by lay women in Tibet’s history. On October 17, 2011 nun Tenzin Wangmo (20) from Dechen Chokorling near Ngaba town called for religious freedom in Tibet and the return on the Dalai Lama as she set herself on fire and died outside of the nunnery. On November 3, 2011, in Tawu, Kardze, 35-year-old Palden Choetso of Gaden Choeling Nunnery died after she self-immolated and shouted “Tibetans will reunite soon” and “long life for His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” and called for basic human rights in Tibet. On February 11 of this year, a nun from Dechen Chokorling, Tenzin Choedron (18), died after setting light to herself near the nunnery while shouting slogans of protest against the Chinese government.

A Tibetan nun in exile mourning the deaths in Tibet
March 5: A Tibetan nun in exile mourning the deaths in Tibet

Since Tapey’s self immolation on February 27, 2009, 24 additional self-immolations have been carried out. TWA mourns the death of 18 martyrs who died in self-immolation protests and continues to express grave concern regarding the conditions of the 7 martyrs whose status either persists unknown or involves hospitalization and the denial of family visitation rights.

TWA remains grossly worried over the fact that since last year, Tibet has remained under lockdown with a heavy military presence. We fear for those living under the constant threat of arbitrary detentions, disappearances, and the ruthless military control of Tibetan areas.

The two self-immolations took place on the eve of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) parliamentary meeting commencing today, where Tibetan unrest is expected to reach the debate table. TWA urges the Chinese government to address the genuine aspirations and demands of the 25 martyrs who burnt their bodies in the name of ‘freedom for Tibet’ and for the ‘return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet’.

TWA requests global intervention to save Tibetan lives: we ask world governments to apply multilateral pressure and take action against China to end the crackdown and allow free press inside Tibet. We call on the honorable Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to visit the troubled areas in Tibet and assess the situation with a fact-finding mission.

TWA sends a message to Tibetans and supporters to commemorate the upcoming 53rd anniversary of the National Tibetan Women’s Uprising on March 12 and partake in TWA global actions on the day, honoring female martyrdom and lending a voice to the growing female resistance in Tibet against Chinese oppression. TWA believes that the steadfast, undeterred presence of Tibetan women and their resilience in the face of oppression encourages this self-sustaining struggle to rise against injustices and a repressive regime.

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet

Tibetans in exile mourn self-immolation deaths in Tibet