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Tibetans upset over ‘secret’ cremation of monk who self-immolated

world Updated: Mar 30, 2013 19:33 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Tibetans in Nepal and abroad are upset with Nepal government authorities secretly cremating a monk who had self-immolated in Kathmandu last month.

The body of the 25-year-old Buddhist monk was cremated late on Monday night under tight security at the cremation site of the sacred Hindu temple Pashupathinath in Kathmandu.

“There’s discontent in the community because the authorities failed to hand over the body to Tibetans so that the last rites could be performed as per their rituals,” said a source on condition of anonymity.

Drupchen Tsering (Druptse) had poured petrol over himself and set fire on February 13 at Boudhanath Stupa, a prominent Buddhist religious site, where many Tibetan refugees reside.

He succumbed to his wounds a few hours later and his body had been kept at the Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital.

Though Tibetan organisations in Nepal and India urged the Nepal government to hand over the body to them, authorities here declared it unclaimed as no one from his family came forward to receive it.

It is not known whether the monk who had arrived in Nepal from Tibet a few weeks prior to the self-immolation had any relatives here.

Tibetan rights groups suggest that decision on the secret cremation may have been taken following Chinese pressure on the Nepal government.

“It reflects badly on the Nepalese authorities that they chose to dispose (his) body in this undignified manner, in condition of such secrecy,” said Tsering Jampa of International Campaign for Tibet in a statement.

Fresh tension between Nepali authorities and Tibetan refugees in Nepal is expected as a prayer vigil for the deceased monk is being planned on April 3, the 49th day after death, considered religiously significant by Tibetans.