Name: Lobsang Tashi (aka Tapey)
His slogans: Unreported.
His actions; held aloft the banned Tibetan national flag and a photograph of the Dalai Lama
Profession: Monk at Kirti Monastery, Ngaba County, Ngaba, Amdo, Eastern Tibet
Date of Self-Immolation: 27 February 2009, early afternoon
Location: Ngaba County Town, Ngaba County, Amdo
Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Alive but whereabouts unknown
In 2008, when spontaneous protests against Chinese rule erupted across Tibet, Ngaba Prefecture suffered bloody and fatal crackdowns by the local authorities and PLA (People’s Liberation Army) paramilitary forces. A year later, on 2 February 2009 — the third day of the Tibetan New Year — after prayer ceremonies were cancelled at his monastery, Tapey ran into the town’s streets and lit his already gasoline-soaked robes. From within the flames he raised a Tibetan flag and a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Both the flag of Independent Tibet and images of the Dalai Lama are illegal under Chinese law). He was immediately shot and felled by the military police. Eyewitnesses report that paramilitary People’s Armed Police personnel extinguished the flames and instantly removed his body.
Tapey shot while in flame
apey was first transported to Ngaba County People’s Hospital and then to Chengdu’s West China Hospital of the West China Medical School. Bullets had incapacitated his legs and penetrated his right arm, which he was unable to lift. Extensive burns on his face and right arm left deep scars. It is reported that the hospital in Chengdu intended to amputate the injured limbs to destroy any evidence of military firing, but Tapey’s mother intervened and saved his limbs . In 2011, he was back in the military hospital of Ngaba Prefecture’s capital city, Barkham, unable to leave nor receive relatives — except his maternal uncle — or fellow monks. With Ngaba region under lockdown, in early 2013 his condition and whereabouts were unknown. Apart from his 45-year-old mother, Tapey has an older brother, Tsebo, and a younger sister, Tsering Kyi.