Tibetan protester Jamphel Yeshi succumbs to burn injuries
TYC plans a grand funeral deserving of a martyr for Yeshi at Dharamshala
27-year-old Tibetan protester Jamphel Yeshi had immolated himself on Monday
Jamphel Yeshi, the 27-year-old Tibetan protester, who had immolated himself on Monday, succumbed to injuries on Wednesday. Yeshi was protesting the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao for the BRICS Summit to New Delhi. The Chinese president is also expected to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Manmonhan Singh.
On Monday, when hundreds of Tibetans gathered outside Jantar Mantar to protest Jintao’s visit, the loud slogans of “Free Tibet”, were drowned out by excruciating screams of Yeshi, who set himself on fire.
Engulfed in flames, the Delhi-based Tibetan ran about 50 metres before collapsing as people tried to douse the flames. Yeshi was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where he battled for life in the ICU with 98 per cent burns. Yeshi hailed from Tawu district in eastern Tibet and had come to India in 2005.
On Tuesday, Tibetan writer and activist Tenzin Tsundue was arrested from India Habitat Centre, where he was participating in an academic discussion. Delhi Police officials said Tsundue had been arrested under preventive sections. In 2005, Tsundue had staged a protest in Bangalore during the Chinese premier's visit.
Tenzin Thokey, the general secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), in Delhi, said that there have been more than 100 preventive arrests on Wednesday. A group of 60 people, mostly women, were detained at Jantar Mantar. Protesters who gathered at the UN Information Centre were also arrested along with groups gathered at Khan Market leading to the UN building. Heavy security has also been deployed at the Tibetan resettlement colony in Aruna Vihar. Traffic advisory and heavy security is also in place in the New Delhi area.
In the past year 29 Tibetans, mainly in their 20s, have immolated themselves to draw global attention to China’s oppression of Tibet. The TYC termed Yeshi a martyr. Dhondup Lhadar, the TYC vice president, was by his side at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital when Yeshi breathed his last. Yeshi studied at the Tibetan Transit School in Dharamshala for three and a half years and had been living in Delhi for the last two years.
Thupten Ngodup was the first known Tibetan to have self-immolated during an indefinite hunger strike organised by TYC in New Delhi in 1998. In Tibet, since Tapey's self-immolation in 2009, 30 Tibetans have set themselves on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibet. The TYC has said it will hold a “grand funeral deserving of a martyr” for Yeshi at Dharamshala.
Andrew Clarance is a Video Correspondent with Tehelka.com.
Editing by Karuna John