kunc-header-1440x90.png
Our Story Happens Here
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
NPR News

Tibetan Exile Dies From Burns Suffered In Self-Immolation

In Kolkata on Tuesday, exiled Tibetans and human rights activists held a candlelight for Jamphel Yeshi.
In Kolkata on Tuesday, exiled Tibetans and human rights activists held a candlelight for Jamphel Yeshi.

Jamphel Yeshi has died. The 27-year-old Tibetan exile, who on on Monday set himself on fire in New Delhi, was the latest in a small but growing number of Tibetans who in the past year have burned themselves in protest of China's rule over their country.

As we reported Tuesday, at least 30 Tibetans have taken that dramatic step in the past year.

Yeshi, The Associated Press writes, came to a protest over a visit to India by China's president and "ran screaming past other protesters and the media before falling to the ground, his clothing partly disintegrated and nearly his entire body covered in burns." He died today.

This morning, The Wall Street Journalwrites that his death "casts a shadow over the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is in New Delhi to attend the BRICS summit with leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. ... A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry claimed Tuesday that the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, had encouraged the self-immolation. The exiled Tibetan administration and the Dalai Lama have repeatedly denied backing the practice."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Related Content
  • Increasingly angry about Chinese rule, a small but steadily growing number of Tibetans are choosing to protest by setting themselves on fire. Many Tibetans say they admire such actions — support that experts say means more such protests are likely.
  • These days, visiting Tibetan areas is a risky venture for journalists trying to cover the protest movement against Chinese rule, including a rash of self-immolations. But the dangers are far greater for those who talk to them. NPR's Louisa Lim recently traveled there and describes the challenges.
  • Chinese forces opened fire on Tibetan protesters this week, killing up to four and wounding more than 30, say Tibetan rights groups. The protests are among the largest against Chinese rule in nearly four years and were inspired in part by a disturbing trend: Tibetans setting themselves on fire.