6. Kalsang Wangchuk

His slogans: opposed the Chinese government and he was carrying a picture of the Dalai Lama

Name: Kalsang Wangchuk

Age: 17

Sex: Male

Profession: Monk at Kirti Monastery

Date of Self-Immolation: 3 October 2011, around 2 pm (local time)

Location: Ngaba County Town, Ngaba, Amdo, Eastern Tibet

Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Uncertain. Sustained a head injury from beatings by police at the time of his detention, rendering him permanently disabled.

In the early afternoon of 3 October 2011, Kalsang was seen carrying a photo of the Dalai Lama and shouting slogans against the Chinese government as he ignited himself near the vegetable market along Ngaba County Town’s main street. Eyewitnesses reported that the security personnel first extinguished the fire and then beat Kalsang with weapons — including an iron rod — before dragging him away to an unknown location. Kalsang’s whereabouts are still unknown, although early reports said he was held in the county hospital under close surveillance. Sources added that he had sustained a head injury as a result of the beatings by police. Reports at the time indicated that Kalsang had suffered severe burns on his torso. A Tibetan female picked up the picture of HH the Dalai Lama, which fell from Kalsang’s hand as he burned, but some men on a motorcycle grabbed it from her. Shortly after this repeat of immolations by Kirti Monastery monks, the security forces already deployed across Ngaba County town and surrounding Kirti Monastery were substantially stepped up. According to monks from Kirti Monastery’s branch in exile in Dharamshala, North India, a few days after Kalsang’s fiery protest, flyers and posters were distributed and displayed around Kirti Monastery, and at the town’s market place, stating that if the current security crackdown in the area continues “…many more people are prepared to give up their lives” in protest. Lobsang Gendun, a senior monk at Kirti Monastery in his forties, was detained for two months in relation to Kalsang Wangchuk’s action in attempts by the authorities to implicate him.kalsangwangchuk

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