Sep 282013

pawoPawo Shichung lit himself of fire and died today, Sept. 28th.  He was 41 years old, married, and the father of two teenage daughters.

Schichung attended a prayer function, went home, lit some butter lamps in front of a portrait of the Dalai Lama (this constitutes a crime in China) and then set himself on fire.  He walked onto the road, to make the motives of his protest clear.  His body was rescued by Tibetans, but then forcibly taken away by the Chinese police.  Had the Tibetans tried to keep the body to give his family, they would have been arrested.

Schichung lived in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. The region is part of the Tibetan cultural and historical region of Amdo and it’s where many of the Tibetan self-immolations have taken place.

With this, Schichung becomes the 128th Tibetan known to self-immolate calling for Tibetan freedom and for the return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama.  Self-immolation as a form of protest has a long history in Buddhist culture.

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