30. Sonam Dhargye

Name: Sonam Dhargey

Age: 44

Sex: Male

Profession: Farmer

Date of Self-immolation: 17 March 2012 around 9:40 am

Location: At a road near Malho County, Rebkong, Northeastern Tibet

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Desonamdhargyeceased 17 March

His slogans: called for the right to study Tibetan, an end to China’s rule and the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet

Sonam Dhargey, a father of three, self-immolated near the centre of Rongwo town in Rebkong, Amdo. He was the second Tibetan from the Rebkong area to set fire to himself in protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Immediately following his immolation, images and footage were relayed showing thousands of Tibetans gathering to honour his act of protest. A video released by VOA shows the body of Sonam Dhargey engulfed in flames in the middle of the street in Rongwo town with thousands of Tibetans already congregating around him. Sonam, died almost immediately as he had reportedly swallowed kerosene and doused it over his body which was wrapped in cotton padding and bound with wire. Whilst still in flames Sonam was heard calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, for Tibetan language rights and for an end to Chinese rule. His body was taken to Rongwo Monastery where several thousand people attended his funeral.

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