57. Sangay Gyatso

His slogans: “Return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “Give Tibetans the Right to Articulate their Language and Religion”

Name: Sangay Gyatso

Age: 27

Sex: Male

Profession: Farmer/Nomad

Date of Self-immolation: 6 October 2012 at around 12 noon (local time)

Location: Tsoe, Kanlho, Amdo, Northeastern Tibet

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased

Sangay Gyatso, a father of two, set fire to himself near Dokar Monastery in the town of Tsoe, a northeastern Tibetan area of Amdo. Sangay Gyatso called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and the right of Tibetans to freely express their language and religion. He is reported to have succumbed to his injuries. Initial reports from the region told of heightened tension in the area and estimated that hundreds of security personnel had been deployed around the monastery. Following his death, prayers were said at Dokar Monastery before his body was taken to his home. The Chinese authorities further tightened security in the region following this selfimmolation, deploying additional armed troops to the monastery. Communications with the monastery were cut and reports indicate that the monks were interrogated. The region has been described as currently “extremely tense”.

Four monks of Tsoe’s Dokar Monastery have been arrested for allegedly taking care of Sangay Gyatso’s body and taking pictures of his charred corpse. They are identified as Jigme Gyatso, Kalsang Gyatso, Kunchok Gyatso and Tashi Gyatso. According to media reports, monk Tashi Gyatso was the first to be arrested, a few days earlier, while Jigme, treasurer of the monastery, Kalsang, accountant, and Kunchok were arrested during a later raid on the monastery. Reports also indicated that the entire region of Tsoe was put under heavy surveillance and Chinese security forces were attempting to make further arrests in connection with Sangay Gyatso’s self-immolation protest. Severe restrictions were placed on the movement of Tibetans in the region. There were also reports of Chinese officials offering bribes to Sangay Gyatso’s family while forcing them to sign a document stating that Sangay’s self-immolation was not protesting against China’s rule over Tibet. Nomad-cum-farmer Sangay Gyatso is survived by his wife Dorjee Kyi and two children – a son, Dorjee Dhundup, 7, and a daughter, Tenzin Tso, 5.sangaygyatso

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