Drugkho, a young Tibetan from Soruma village in Ngawa county, eastern Tibet reportedly self-immolated on December 8, 2018. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India — A young Tibetan has reportedly burned himself in Ngaba County of eastern Tibet in the latest self immolation protest against China's repressive policies and occupation of Tibet. This is the third such self-immolation protest in 2018 in the occupied region.

Drugkho, a young Tibetan in his 20s set himself alight at Ngaba County of eastern Tibet on Saturday, December 8, 2018, whilst shouting slogans calling for the long of the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet.

It is not known if Chinese police took Drugkho away and no information was immediately available regarding his condition or whereabouts following his protest. It is also not known if he is still alive.

There has been an immediate lockdown in the area, with internet communications blocked, according to the same sources. Chinese police, government and religious affairs bureau officials in the region either said they were unaware of the situation or did not answer their phones.

Drugkho's protest was in Ngaba County, Amdo tradition province of Tibet, where over 40 previous self-immolation protests have taken place, to stage a protes against tight Chinese control of the region and cultural religious repression. He is reportedly from Soruma village of the Tibetan county.

The latest self-immolation by Drugkho brought the total verified number of self-immolations inside Tibet to 154. Of these, 129 are known to have died while the status of the rest remains unknown. Most of the self-immolators called for the return of the Dalai Lama and freedom for the people of Tibet and while many of the self-immolators called out for independence for Tibet.

The incident occurred after German Human Rights Commissioner Barbel Kofler on Wednesday left on a two-day official visit to Tibet for a dialogue with Chinese counterparts.

The Chinese Communist totalitarian regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.