Conflict & Justice

More bad news for Tibetan monks


Tibetan monk delegates arrive at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 12, 2009.


Liu Jin

Earlier this month, news of a monk self-immolating in southwestern China sent ripples of terror through the Tibetan Buddhist community.

Not only did the act of Tsewang Norbu, known as Norko, burning himself alive bring onlookers to a halt, and force them to register the oppression under which Tibetans live in China.

But it also forced people to say, "Again?"

Norko was the second monk to light himself on fire and die from subsequent injuries in the last six months.

And today, it is that first monk, Rigzin Phuntsog, who self-immolated in China's Sichuan province on March 16, who is again making headlines months after his death.

A Chinese court has sentenced a monk called Drongdru to 11 years in jail for “intentional homicide” for hiding his fellow monk and preventing him from getting treatment after he set himself on fire, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.

According to Reuters:

Drongdru ... pled guilty to the murder charge and said he felt very regretful over the hiding and prevention of emergency treatment and asked for leniency. Drongdru said at the court room that he would not appeal against the verdict,” Xinhua said.

According to reports, at least three monks have self-immolated in China since 2009.

Two other monks will stand trial on Tuesday charged with “plotting, instigating and assisting” in Rigzin Phuntsog's self-immolation.