Gepey set himself ablaze in the late afternoon near the first military base set up by the People's Liberation Army upon arriving in the area in 1950, which is 1.5 km away from Kirti monastery.
Soldiers took Gepey's body into the base, and some local Tibetans confronted them, seeking the return of the body to his family.
Officials did give Gepey's body back to the Tibetans, but also specified that Gepey should be cremated the same day and in the presence of no more than five relatives, disrespecting the customary funeral rights of Tibetans.
Tibetans believe it is important to carry out prayer rituals after death in order to ensure a peaceful transition for the person in to their next life. In Tibetan culture, for this reason, the body of a person who has died should be disturbed as little as possible.
In case of Tibetans who have self immolated, many Tibetans believe that they were giving their lives as a form of dedication, or to be of benefit to others, and so it becomes even more important for the bodies to be returned for prayer ceremonies.
It is not known if Gepey deliverately chose this date to mark the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising, and the forth anniversary of the protests beginning on March 10, 2008.