Hundreds of grieving Tibetans on Sunday joined the funeral procession for a 16-year-old schoolboy who died after setting himself on fire to protest against Chinese rule.
Dorje Tsering died from cardiac arrest on Thursday after setting himself ablaze at a housing settlement for Tibetan refugees in India\’s northern city of Dehradun.
Tsering\’s body was Saturday brought to Dharamsala, the Himalayan hill town where spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has lived since fleeing Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
On Sunday local Tibetans came out in their hundreds to attend a prayer session in neighbouring McLeodganj, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, before joining the funeral procession and the cremation ceremony.
A cavalcade of motorbikes and cars adorned with the yellow, red and blue Tibetan flag accompanied the ambulance carrying Tsering\’s body.
Tsering\’s mother Nyima Yangkyi urged young Tibetans to focus on education and not to consider self-immolation as an option.
"(My son) saw self-immolation as a last resort, but young Tibetans should not self-immolate, instead they should study and work for Tibet," she said in a video released by the Norway-based Voice of Tibet.
The teenager was the eighth Tibetan to mount such a protest outside China. An 18-year-old Tibetan monk in China set himself ablaze last Monday to protest at Beijing\’s tight control over the Himalayan region.
The Dalai Lama has described the burnings as acts of desperation that he is powerless to stop. He has said he is reluctant to condemn them to avoid offending the families of the dead.