On Tuesday (Oct 23) a 58-year-old man became the third to die in a self-immolation protest since Saturday.
Dorje Rinchen, set himself alight near the Chinese Army camp in Sanchu county, China, close the to Labrang monastery, at 3:30pm (local time). Images show him running down the street before collapsing to the ground. He is surrounded by troops as his body remains ablaze. The troops attempt to stop passersby and monks from taking the body away, as is religious tradition.
According to the 'International Campaign for Tibet': In Tibetan tradition, it is important to protect the body of someone who has died for religious ritual and offerings in order to ensure an auspicious rebirth. Since the self-immolations began in Tibet in 2009, many Tibetans have taken great risks to retrieve the bodies of those who have self-immolated in order to carry out religious practice.
According to an eye-witness and as the video shows, the troops were successfully resisted following a minor scuffle, and the man's body was taken away, reportedly to his village, Upper Zayu.
Rinchenâs self-immolation was confirmed in a brief report in official Chinese media on Tuesday:
Dorje Rinchen got up very early this morning and went to pray at Labrang monastery. He walked around the monastery several times, and walked three times between the monastery and his home,â a source said. After that, he cleaned his house inside and out and then went to the Chinese police station, where he self-immolated and died."
Labrang is Tibetan Buddhism's most important monastery town outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the immolation on Monday was the first instance of the sacrificial protest at the monastery.