The pro-Tibetan sovereignty news site phayul.com reports that Jigjey Kyab, 17, was found dead this week due to suspected self-poisoning, just before a planned self-immolation. The teen doused himself with kerosene and was carrying two lighters in his hands. His body was recovered from a busy street in his home town in the Luchu region of eastern Tibet.
"Jigjey Kyab made an attempt to self-immolate but he apparently died before he could set himself on fire" said Lhamo Kyab, a former political prisoner living in Dharamshala. "He had reportedly consumed poison prior to his self-immolation protest to ensure that he didn't fall into the hands of the Chinese authorities alive."
In earlier instances, surviving Tibetan self-immolators have suffered amputations of all limbs, verbal abuse, interrogations, and maltreatment by doctors and Chinese officials at the hospitals. The condition of more than a dozen Tibetan self-immolators remains unknown.
In note found by his family (shown at right), he wrote:
"I pray that my aspirations will be fulfilled. If you are your mother's son – rise up. Sons of the Land of Snows – rise up. Singers of the Snow Land – rise up. May His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for thousands of aeons. My respect to the white snow lion (symbol of Tibet). My prayers for happiness in Tibet."
"Father and mother, it is my hope that you will take care of yourselves. You are the most loving people in this world. I will repay your kindness in my next life."
Earlier this week, a 23-year-old man became the 99th person to self-immolate since 2009
Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the political leader of the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamshala, India, asked Tibetans to refrain from this form of protest, as he also urged all Tibetans not to celebrate the ceremonial new year, in mourning.
In a statement issued by the government in exile and the office of the Dalai Lama, Sangay said:
"Kindly pray for all who have sacrificed their lives and for all who continue to suffer in occupied Tibet. The Central Tibetan Administration continues to appeal to Tibetans to not undertake drastic actions and still self-immolations persist in Tibet. The universal demands of the Tibetans have been the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans."