A teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, or Rinpoche, doused himself with kerosene and set his body aflame on Jan. 8 in Qinghai Province, China. Sopa Tulku was 42 years old and died on the spot, according to reports.
Prior to setting himself ablaze he had put a poster on a nearby wall explaining that he was self-immolating “to commemorate the Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009, for our national freedom and religious freedom, for liberty and freedom of speech.” Tulku also asked the Tibetans to “unity, work hard for the future of Tibet. Don’t lose hope,” before he set himself on fire, the website Tibet Truth reported.
As an ordained monk Tulku had dressed in a yellow gown for the occasion. He shouted slogans calling for Tibetan freedom, distributed leaflets, and then drank and tipping gasoline over his body, before lighting himself on fire at 6am. The act was committed in Darlag (in Chinese, Dari) county in the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai.
Tulku is the third Tibetan to set himself on fire this year, and the 15th to do so since March last year, according to Radio Free Asia.
Hundreds marched to the police station demanding his body, though their request was denied, according to RFA. “The protesters smashed windows and doors of the local police station,” RFA reported a source saying.After they obtained his body the protesters paraded it through streets, according to RFA.