Dharamsala : Thousands of Tibetan exiles gathered in this Himachal town Friday for the funeral of a man who immolated himself earlier this week in Delhi demanding freedom for Tibet.
Tawu Jamphel Yeshi’s coffin was placed in the morning at the hilltop Tsuglagkhang temple near the official palace of the Dalai Lama, where a mass prayer meeting was held.
Yeshi, a member of the Tibetan Youth Congress, immolated himself Monday to protest the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India. He succumbed to burn injuries Wednesday.
Later, the body was taken to a local crematorium where the last rites were performed according to traditional Tibetan Buddhist custom.
The pyre was lit by a senior member of the TYC, the largest Tibetan pro-independence group in exile.
The prayer session was addressed, among others, by parliament speaker Penpa Tsering.
“Hu Jintao is responsible for two more deaths since he came to India. The question is how many more Tibetan lives has to be lost before the issue of Tibet is resolved,” asked Tsering.
A statement of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said it’s saddened to learn of the self-immolation by a young Tibetan in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet March 28.
“We urge the Chinese leadership to heed the recommendations of the international community on its counter-productive policies and address the problem of Tibet through dialogue,” said Dicki Chhoyang, CTA minister for information and international relations.
Since 2009, 31 Tibetans have set themselves on fire calling for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland.
Nearly six million Tibetans live in Tibet while over 150,000 live in other countries, most of them in India.