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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Monk kills self in Ragya, residents protest

March 23, 2009

By Kalsang Rinchen
March 21, 2009

Dharamsala, March 21 -- A Tibetan monk of Amdo
Golok Ragya monastery in Gyulgho township (Ch:
Lajong), Machen county, Qinghai, committed
suicide by jumping into Machu river today around
3.30 PM (Beijing time), a source residing here
with contacts in Tibet told the Voice of Tibet radio service.

The monk was identified as Tashi Sangpo, aged 28, the source said.

The monastery has remained sealed and been under
constant patrol of Chinese forces since March 10
this year when leaflets containing political
messages were circulated and a huge Tibetan
national flag hoisted atop the main prayer hall
of the monastery. Several monks of the monastery
were detained in the monastery which has since been completely locked down.

Security forces claimed to have found a Tibetan
national flag and political leaflets from Tashi’s room, the source said.

Tashi Sangpo sneaked out of the security forces’
sight by seeking to go to the toilet, according
to the source, a former resident of Ragya, who
said Machu River is not very far from the monastery.

At the time of this report going online, Tashi’s
death has already sparked a strong anti China
protest in Ragya where Tibetans are taking to the
streets with the banned Tibetan national flag and
banners, chanting slogans such as "independence
for Tibet, long live Dalai Lama."
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