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For Immediate Release
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
30 March 2012, Dharamsala (India)
Twin Self-immolation in Barkham County
Two Tibetan monks have set themselves on fire today at around 12.30 pm (Tibet Time) at Barkham (Chinese: Maerkang) County, the capital of Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) in Sichuan Province.
Tenpa Dhargyal and Chime Palden are monks at Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti Monastery in Barkham County, according to sources. The monks set themselves on fire while shouting slogans against the Chinese government.
Sources also told TCHRD that the two were alive when they were taken to the hospital by the security officers. Some monks of Tsodun Kirti Monastery rushed to the scene of the self-immolation in three vehicles. But they were stopped on the way by the police who made them to return to their monastery.
There is no confirmed information about the condition and whereabouts of Tenpa Dhargyal and Chime Palden.
Both were born in Khorlachang village, Barkham County, Gyalrong Tsodun Township, Ngaba TAP, Sichuan Province.
Tenpa Dhargyal (aged 22) was born in Leko Tsang household. He is the youngest of the four children of parents Kalden and Paltso. He was a monk at Kirti Monastery (in Ngaba) from 2003 to 2009. Since 2009 he had studied at Tsodun Monastery.
Chime Palden (aged 21) was born in Yesti Tsang household. He is the son of Rabgyal and Machik Tso. In 2009 he studied in Kirti Monastery for a few months. In 2010, on his way to Lhasa, police officers found on his cell phone a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan Flag and the 'Unity' song by Tibetan singer Sherten for which he was detained in Lhasa for about a month.
Following the twin self-immolation, Barkham is now under lockdown with tight security.
Tsodun Kirti Monastery has around 300 monks and is 82 kms away from Barkham County