Document no. 3
OBITUARY REFERENCE ON SELF-IMMOLATOR TAPHUN
Around past 5 a.m on 27 March 2022, an 81-year-old Tibetan man named Taphun self-immolated in front of a police station near Kirti monastery to protest China’s repressive policies imposed on Tibetans. He was reportedly taken away by police immediately after his self-immolation attempt and later died in custody.
Every year during the month of March, the Chinese government severely enforces restrictions in Tibetan regions and particularly in Lhasa prohibiting mobility and interrogating Tibetans by force. In Ngaba county, unusual tightened restrictions were imposed this year to suppress dissidents. As a result of such unprecedented repression, reliable sources in Tibet have confirmed that self-immolation has become an inevitable form of peaceful resistance to defy China’s implementation of policies exterminating Tibet’s cultural heritage.
81-year-old Taphun was a resident of Meruma nomadic village in Ngaba county. He was always vocal about China’s oppressive policies and inhuman treatment of Tibetans. On his 80th birthday in 2021, Taphun said, “It is certain that the rays of happiness will shine over Tibet due to the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tibetan millennials should not lose heart!” Except for the location, further details of the incident are still unknown due to heavy curtail on the outflow of information from Tibet.
Amongst the confirmed 156 self-immolators in Tibet since 2009, 135 were confirmed dead, while the status of the rest remains unclear. The Tibetan self-immolators have repeatedly called for the return of His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama to Tibet, the termination of China’s policies destroying Tibetan ethnicity and culture, and freedom for Tibet, including language and human rights. The self-immolators have also called for the preservation of Tibet’s natural environment and an end to the repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet. However, China persistently ignores Tibetan self-immolator demands and aggravates the situation by enforcing further restraints which force Tibetans to continuously resort to self-immolation. Hence, the Chinese government must take ownership of self-immolators demands. As stated in the successive resolutions, the officials of the Chinese government must conduct a thorough assessment of the demands of the self-immolators and the ceaseless peaceful resistance movement of the Tibetans. The Chinese government must pursue diligence to end repressive policies enforced in Tibet and instantly resume the Sino-Tibet dialogue for mutual benefits.
Honouring and admiring the sacrifices made by Taphun, the Tibetan Parliament prays for the purification of his sins and a quick rebirth in the realm of nirvana. The Tibetan Parliament also expresses its profound solidarity and condolences to his family members. Tibetan Parliament, therefore, passes this resolution supplicating Triratna and the ocean of Buddha per the self-immolators earnest desire in return for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and the reunion of Tibetans in Tibet and exile. And so be it adopted accordingly with the unanimous approval of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on 7 September 2022.
The above resolution was passed with unanimous approval by the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile at its fourth session on 7 September 2022.
* This is an English translation of the Tibetan original, in case of any discrepancy the latter should be considered authoritative and final for all purposes.