Monks gathered at Kirti monstery

Monks gathered at Kirti monstery on March 18, 2011 to make offerings and pray for Phuntsog, who died after self-immolating on March 16, 2011. His body was then taken nearby for cremation. A Tibetan who was at the cremation told ICT: “It seemed to me that Phuntsog’s cremation became a focus for Tibetan people’s grief and sense of loss, as well as an expression of their solidarity and strength as Tibetans. I took this picture as around 500 Tibetans converged on the hillside, monks and laypeople. They bore khatags, Tibetan white blessing scarves. The noise of their chanting the mantra dedicated to His Holiness rang in my ears. There were mothers carrying children, there were old men walking with a stick. People were crying, they were sharing their sorrow. It was as if there was nothing else for them to do. It felt as though my heart was breaking. Ever since then, I have not been the same person.”