NW China police arrest self-immolation inciter

Police in northwest China’s Qinghai province said Thursday that they have arrested a Tibetan man who allegedly attempted to convince another Tibetan to self-immolate last November.

Police in Tongren county said they thwarted a self-immolation attempt last year by 25-year-old monk Drolma Je after being told that the man had stored gasoline in a hotel room on Nov. 19.

A probe into Drolma Je’s case has led to the arrest of Phagpa, a 27-year-old man who allegedly encouraged Drolma Je to commit self-immolation, a police report said.

The report said Phagpa had maintained close contact with key members of the “Tibetan Youth Congress” of the Dalai Lama clique, exchanging information with and taking orders from them via the Internet.

It said Phagpa studied in India at an institution established by the Dalai Lama clique for training separatists in June 2005.

After returning to China in September 2011, he worked to spread pro-independence ideas among local students while working as a teacher at an orphanage and opening computer and English training courses, the report said.

The report, citing Drolma Je’s confession, said Phagpa made several attempts to convince Drolma Je to self-immolate between June and July 2012, assuring him that photos of the self-immolator would be spread globally by organizations in India.

“He claimed that ‘the international community will pay attention if more people commit self-immolation,'” the report said, citing Drolma Je.

Police also found that Phagpa is a member of the illegal “Snow Tradition Cultural Service Group.” He and other members of the group have attended funerals of previous self-immolators, praising them as role models and donating money to their relatives.

Police have arrested Phagpa on a charge of intentional homicide and Drolma Je on a charge of jeopardizing public security.

Multiple Tibetan self-immolations have occurred in west China’s Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces in recent months. The Chinese government has accused the Dalai Lama group of inciting and supporting such acts.


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