A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.


Self-immolation of ‘generous Buddhist devoted to her family’ in Tibet

Tashi Kyi

Tashi Kyi (Image: TCHRD)

New information has reached ICT about the self-immolation of Tashi Kyi, a Tibetan mother of four in her mid-fifties who set herself on fire on August 27 and died, apparently as a protest against China’s policies of relocation and demolition of housing. Tashi Kyi, described as a “generous Buddhist” who was “devoted to her family”, was a relative of a prominent monk who escaped into exile after a bold protest in 2008.

Although local Tibetans attempted to save her life by extinguishing the blaze, Tashi Kyi died hours after setting herself on fire in her housing compound, a nomad settlement site in Sangkok township, Sangchu in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. Her body was taken away by the authorities. It is the 143rd self-immolation in Tibet since 2009.


Major policy meeting on Tibet in buildup to sensitive anniversary

A major policy meeting presided over by China’s top leader Xi, the Tibet Work Forum, set out China’s Tibet policy for the coming years. Attended by the entire Politburo, the Party leadership, the emphasis of the Work Forum was on ‘stability’, a political term associated with a dramatic expansion of military and police powers. According to the Chinese state media, the meeting also emphasized the struggle against ‘separatism’, above economic development.


Caterpillar fungus pickers confronted by falling prices


(Photo: Mario Biondi)

Yartsa Gunbu, the parasitic fungus native to Tibet, has brought an influx of cash to the region in recent years as traditional Chinese medicine practitioners buy it from the Tibetan nomads who harvest it on the Tibetan Plateau. Recently prices have fallen, however, even as the supply has diminished. China Economic Review writes about the issue in their article: Tibet’s prized parasitic fungus faces paradox of falling prices and shrinking harvests.


Rebgong-area monk still missing months after arrest

Gomar Choephel

Gomar Choephel

Phayul reports that Gomar Choephel, a Tibetan monk arrested in early July, remains missing. Sources familiar with the case told Voice of Tibet: “The reason for his arrest is still not specified properly by the police and his whereabouts is still unknown. Choephel is a learned and humble senior monk of the monastery who was well respected.”