“CALLING FOR TIBET’S FREEDOM AND THE RETURN OF THE DALAI LAMA ”
Profession: Former monk of Kirti Monastery
Date of Self-Immolation: 7 October 2011, around 11:30 am (local time)
Location: Ngaba County Town
Current whereabouts/wellbeing: Deceased, 11 October 2011 around 2 pm (local time)
On 7 October 2011 laymen Khaying and Choephel set themselves ablaze in Ngaba County. While engulfed in flames, their hands were pressed together in gestures of prayer while they raised slogans calling for Tibet’s freedom and demanding His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet. The People’s Security Bureau militia who arrived on the spot started to beat Khaying and Choephel violently while putting out the flames. Khaying was seen raising a fist in the air even while being dragged away.
The following day Khaying passed away at a government hospital in Barkham. His last words were, “I have no regret giving up my life for the sake of my country Tibet. Please do not be sad and worry about this”. The Chinese authorities had refused to hand over Khaying’s body to his family and instead cremated the corpse at an undisclosed location in Barkham County. Citizens were ordered not to express any grief or offer condolences to his family. In defiance of these decrees, residents of Ngaba County observed three days of mourning by shutting all shops and restaurants.
On 11 October 2011, Choephel also passed away at a government hospital in Barkham. Prior to his self-immolation he had reportedly told his friends, “The current atmosphere of repression is unbearable.” It is also reported that Choephel’s body was not handed over to his family; they were therefore limited to performing his last rites at home and only five monks were permitted to attend by the local authorities.