40. Rikyo

Name: Rikyo

Age: 33

Sex: Female

Profession: Nomad

Date of Self-immolation: 30 May 2012

Location: Tibetan area of Dzamthang County, Ngaba, Amdo, Northeastern Tibet

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Her Last Testament: Below

Rikyo, a maimed mother of three, set herself on fire near the Dzamthang Jonang Gonchen Monastery, Barma township. According to sources, the flames emanating from her body were so intense that police at the scene were beaten back by the heat and failed to extinguish the flames. Rikyo died at the scene of her protest. After her body was taken into the Dzamthang Jonang Monastery, local informants report that Chinese govrikyoernment officials arrived at the monastery and attempted to enforce an immediate cremation. When Rikyo was cremated, the same day, over 5000 Tibetans congregated to attend and offer their respects and prayers amid a heavy security presence. “Although it was raining, with a heavy storm, people did not leave the cremation site near the monastery until around 3 am,” reported a source in exile from the region. Rikyo is survived by her husband, Nangtong (41), and three children — their sons Lobsang (17) and Kunga (10) and a daughter, Semlha (14).

The Last Testament of Rikyo: “Prayers for world peace and happiness! To ensure His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet, do not indulge in slaughtering and trading of animals, do not steal, Speak Tibetan, do not fight. Bearing all sufferings of sentient beings on myself, Do not resist by fighting if I get into Chinese hands alive, be united, Study Tibetan culture. On fire I burn. My family, do not worry.”
(Translated from Tibetan by Bhuchung D. Sonam)

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