Thoughts on the Recent Self-Immolations by Students at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah, India

༄༅།། རྒྱལ་གཅེས་དཔའ་བོ་དཔའ་མོ་རྣམ་པར་གདུང་སེམས་མཉམ་བསྐྱེད་དང་རྗེས་དྲན་ཆེད། ས་རཱ་མཐོ་སློབ་ཀྱི་ཤེས་ཡོན་ཚོགས་པའི་ངོས་ནས། མཐོ་སློབ་གང་དེར་མར་མེ་མཆོད་འབུལ་དང་། བརྗོད་གཞི་འགའི་ཐོག་ཐོལ་བྱུང་རྩོམ་ཡིག་གི་འགྲན་བསྡུར་ཞིག་ཀྱང་སྤེལ་ཡོད་པ་ལས། འདིར་རྩོམ་ལེགས་གྲས་སྐོར་ཅིག་བཀོད་ཡོད།

The Tibetan Language Group of Sarah College organized a candle-light vigil and essay-writing session to show solidarity to the Tibetan martyrs for their sacrifice. Below are some of the writings.

What Should We Do In Such A Critical Situation?

by Tenzin Choedon

Being born and brought up in India, my childhood days went by singing more Hindi patriotic songs and hardly any of my Tibetan songs. During my school days I use to join the demonstration of 10th March without knowing the significance of that particular day.

As I grew up, I became aware of my own country Tibet, its beauty and uniqueness overwhelmed me. My beloved country Tibet is known widely as the ‘roof of the world’. The people living there are blessed with genuineness and full of compassion. The gem of our country is a spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who lives in the heart of each and every Tibetan inside and outside of Tibet.

Since 1959, Tibet has been occupied by the Chinese and huge destruction of Buddhist monasteries had taken place. Thousands of people have been killed, put behind bars, and many are still missing. Our natural resources are at stake. Our clean environment has been polluted. There is development only in the city Lhasa and outskirts being left untouched. Our Tibetan language and culture are on the verge of extinction. Chinese governance inside Tibet is ineffectual and known for their broken promises. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama repeatedly says, “Chinese governance says something and does something else”. Now the current situation in Tibet is critical. People in Tibet have been suffering under Chinese ill treatment and unfair judgment. From the past few months, our monks from Kirti Monastery have been sacrificing their lives for our country burning themselves to death and the number has reached around nine. The Chinese armed forces are increased to a great extent to control the situation. However, it has exacerbated the situation in Tibet.

We, the Tibetan people outside Tibet, must rise together in a peaceful manner and raise our voice against the ongoing violence and cruelty on our people in Tibet.

Awareness:

First and foremost, each and every Tibetan should and must know the situation in Tibet. All Tibetans including young and elderly people should be aware of the current situation in Tibet and take the responsibility of contributing something for our country.

There should be frequent discussion, debate, speeches and talks on the situation in Tibet. More people should be included to spread awareness.

Highly educated Indian and foreigners, philosophers, doctors, teachers and lecturers should be invited to our Tibetan societies and educational institutions to give talks and share their views on the situation in Tibet and try to find the solutions. In that way, many new ideas will come up resulting in the better understanding of the Tibet situation and also a possibility of better solution.

Use of Internet:

When there was unrest going on in the Arab world such as Syria, Libya and the whole world became aware of it through the use of internet such as Facebook, YouTube etc. The ongoing situation in Tibet, if written on Facebook or uploaded on YouTube it will reach more people. Even writing e-mails, using or creating your own blog and chatting with your friends from every nook and corner letting them know the situation in Tibet will help in gaining support and raising this issue in the United Nations.

Usage of Media:

As the saying goes, “the pen is mightier than the sword” we should write more columns on the situation in Tibet and send it to be posted in magazines, newspapers and books. This is the easiest means of communication to reach more people and gain their support as well as bring the situation to light.

Education:

Education is the key to reach a path of enlightenment. There are hundreds of books on the collective speeches on the importance of education by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1959, when he reached India as a refugee, his first priority was to provide education to the Tibetan youngsters because through education one can lead a meaningful life and go shoulder to shoulder with the outside world. Considering the importance of education, the education system in Tibetan schools must be improved. More opportunities for overseas education must be given to the youngsters. Focus should be more on the specialized studies. Good and proper guidance should be given to the students in their selection of educational fields. Tibetan youngsters like us should take this opportunity seriously and make best use of it. Each and every student must have high aims in their life and willingness to serve our country. The more educated people we have, the better it is to reach our goal.

Last but not the least; taking into consideration the ongoing critical situation in Tibet, I want to sincerely pledge that I will live each moment of my life for the benefit of my people and my country Tibet.

Bod Gyalo! May peace prevail on the land of Tibet.

How Lives Lit in Flames

by Tenzin Tseyang

A night of dark intent is sure to come

And not being prepared for such a rage

There would be more than just two nations broken

Like great waves looking over others coming in

We look for a string of self immolation

Amid such escalations of desperate protest

I raise my hand firm and folded.

Startling wave of self-immolations is a sign of condemnatory outburst of oppressive Chinese rule in Tibet. There had been a continuing trend of our youngster taking recourse to ever more desperate protest starting from Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959. The great leap of communist china is the great leap towards the destruction of our holy land.

Patriotic re-education, strike hard campaign, management measures for the monastery, restrictive and repressive policies, encouragement to voluntarily de-robe with monetary rewards, heavy handed tactics massive deployment of troops, severe crackdown charging false accusations, arbitrary detention, unfair trials heavy repression and restraining rules all together resulted in the series of self-immolations.

We are people of deep rooted history, literature and above all our religion. As our proud people set themselves ablaze they indicate the need for something more important than their precious human life i.e. the need for freedom in Tibet and fulfillment of all Tibetan’s our ultimate wish for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. As nine lives lit in flame it sparks the flame of freedom in thousand more. The flame of freedom will remain burning and the thought of rangzen will be ever more growing. For the world the lives lit lights up the people, society, organization and nations from the ignorance as the true situation in Tibet has been framed by the red stars as a prospering and advancing part of it.

The People’s Republic of China might have enough money, people and policies to cover up the reality but it doesn’t have enough to water the fire of freedom in us, to pluck the seed of Tibetaness and to indoctrinate our minds to renounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Tibet, our holy land is known to be a ‘forbidden land’ but now it’s a land of ‘forbidden freedom’. Series of lives ablaze in eastern Tibet with just a casual wind the spark of self-immolation will be spread all over Tibet. I fear that with continuing repression and violation of human rights in Tibet the tight rope of our peaceful stand will be loosened revealing a map of drastic steps of protests and self-immolations.

The lives lit in flames not to burn

But to sow seeds of thousands more

And remind us of the burden of ages

So I raise my hand firm and folded.

Phuntsok, Tsewang Norbu, Lobsang Kelsang, Lobsang Wangchuk, Kelsang Wangchuk, Choephel, Khaying, Norbu Damdul and Tenzin Wangmo. We chant a prayer for all of you to be reborn in the free land of Tibet.

The Trend of Immolation

by Dekyi Nyima

Nine lives burnt alive in just a few consecutive days in our forbidden country, Tibet and the only culprit behind this tragedy is the unbearable oppression of the Chinese government. Doesn’t it sound just pathetic that people in my country burn themselves down for complete freedom? Doesn’t it sound miserable that they were bullied to a height that the only contribution they could make for the country was their death?

The thought of burning themselves to ashes is haunting. Imagining the immolation is something beyond my aptitude of thinking. All that runs in my blood is nothing but tears in bucket. They died. The martyrs died with prayers for the longevity of our supreme and spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with a sincere shattered hope of getting our country back in the near future. The ashes speak of love for the nation. I wept in despair.

I detest the Chinese government for what they did, for what they do and for what they will do. I would never regret having made sins hating them or perhaps I won’t owe a sin but make a virtue out of it.

Every new day turns more into a burden rather than be a hopeful one. It is like living each day with a dilemma of life and death. My prayers long for a quick resolution of this critical issue so that people in my land could quench the thirst of their yearning heart and leave the dreadful thought of burning oneself.

I sincerely pray for a healthy remedy out of their sacrifices and I very much believe that people all over the world will stand by the truth. I plead to the people to understand and analyze the situation as a noble deed and support us for the truth, for what we seek and what we deserve to gain.

I love my country and I love the people dwelling in this land with charm, pride and love for the nation. They are patriotic yet pious so they burn themselves than burning them.

Through this essay, I pay my sincere solidarity to the martyrs of Tibet. May god be with the truth and may people be the followers of it too. Bod Gyalo!

What Should We Do In Such A Critical Situation?

by Kunga Choedon

Lately, a number of Tibetans, especially monks from Kirti monastery and Ngaba region of Tibet have voluntarily self-immolated and sacrificed their precious lives for the Tibetan cause: their valid demands, the allowance of basic human rights i.e. freedom of speech and expression, conservation of Tibetan unique culture and tradition, conservation and allowance to study and preserve Tibetan language (the language being an identity of a particular social group called a nation) by Tibetans in Tibet and most importantly the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Since the invasion of Tibet in 1949 and its complete occupation in 1959 on the sole pretext of being focused on its liberation by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) a.k.a the red army of China (led by the communist leader, Mao Tsedung). After His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with his entourage, fled to India more than 50 years have passed since then. A struggle is still going with the Dalai Lama’s option for the Middle-Way Approach to resolve the Tibet issue and withdrawal of the demand of Tibet’s independence officially. China has been so unresponsive to the Dalai Lama’s plea for an open dialogue many times, and Tibet’s sensitive situation is becoming a critical day by day with the complete Sinicisation of Tibet.

More than 50 years have passed and with the peaceful struggle and protest against the brutal crackdown of the PLA on innocent Tibetans, and against their culture, language and basic freedom. What we all should do at such critical condition in Tibet? With lots of many Tibetan lives, we should first make the rest of the world aware of the critical and sensitive condition in Tibet via various modes of communication i.e. internet and media.

Even by personal contact and talks with each other, and free distribution of pamphlets regarding the issue.

The UN is an important institution initiated to resolve the world’s social, political, religious and culture conflicts through peaceful means. The Tibet Support Groups should primarily focus to bring the UN to intervene and analyze the Sino-Tibetan conflict and its history very objectively. Regarding the recent tragedy of a series of self immolations in Tibet, the UN or any other international organization should intervene to loosen the tightened security and military barricades around various Tibetan monasteries especially Kirti monastery. A complete demilitarization of Tibet is a mandatory demand.

China has to take steps to make Tibetan as the primary language for Tibetans in schools, colleges and universities. The soul and identity of a nation largely depend upon its language, culture, morals and traditions. Ours is Tibetan and we should be given the sole right to preserve it.

The Chinese government should refrain from claiming His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the sole instigator behind the recent tragedies in Tibet (of 2008 and the recent series of self immolations of Tibetan). These false accusation further deteriorates the Sino-Tibetan relationship instead of mending it.

In order to show solidarity for the Tibet cause, the Tibetans in exile along with their government should hold as much peaceful campaigns and programs. Moreover to broaden and enlighten the minds of the world about Tibet. The ongoing brutal crackdown on Tibet, culture and religion by china should be exposed and let the rest of the world know that Tibet’s struggle for freedom since long has been based totally on truth and Satyagraha. And nothing is above truth not even god and i.e. the only power the Tibetans have in their hand: truth.

The elite and powerful organization such as EU (European Union) and USA must put extensive pressure on the Chinese government to refrain itself from various military activities in Tibet and initiate a dialogue between china and the Tibetan entourage: H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and his representatives plus the Tibetan government in exile to execute a peaceful resolution to Sino-Tibet conflict as soon as possible.

Considering the recent loss of Tibetan lives in Tibet, the reason they died for is very obvious. The reason is Tibet. Even though a minority in the world with the mere population of almost 6 million, Tibetans hold such a unique place in the world map which is called the roof of the world: the coldest region on the earth. Our identity is solely based on our rich religion i.e. Buddhism (Mahayana), culture and tradition which is threaten to extinction by the Chinese military (PLA) under china. The loss of Tibet’s identity is a major threat to the world itself. A campaign to enrich and maintain Tibet’s identity means the extensive preservation of its own language, culture and religion.

In order to ensure and safeguard Tibetan lives, the demands of the deceased should be met as soon as possible. The Chinese government should give up their rigid military presence and tightened security in and around Tibet, and make it a zone of universal peace.

Freedom is a prized possession. If freedom is lost, the sole purpose of living is lost. Such a freedom is lost in Tibet under the Chinese government, if freedom is restored, then the problems will gradually dissolve themselves. Lots of heartfelt prayers for all Tibetan heroes and patriots who sacrificed their precious lives for Tibet’s cause and peaceful struggle which is still ongoing since more than 50 years.

Viva Tibet Forever!

Something is Burning

by Tamding Tseten

I was logging in Facebook

And saw something unbelievable

Stunned for a while

Then remember everything

That was disheartened news for me

I don’t know why?

Still something is burning inside of me

Without saying a single word

World people already knew that

Why it has happened?

Why it is still happening?

But why?

Why they keep silent?

What the fucking economic crazy era!

I know that

You know that too

I am simple

My English is also simple

My message is so simple

That is “we are on the same planet

Also same human beings”

Whether you guys care or not

The Soul With You
by Tenzin Tsangpa
Here with the given opportunity to put some words which associated with the feeling. I would like to give a start by one more saying

“THE SOUL WITH YOU”

In this world, the occupation of one country or certain place by other country has been in move since the ancient times. Undoubtedly many overcome and many remain under the same era of occupation. The great India, which is now a free bird, was also under the British rule for over two hundred years. And the Indians led by the Mahatma Gandhi with a peace at one end and the Bhagat Singh with violence at the other hand. They might be different in seeking the complete freedom but they stood together with the same goal or the must-needed intention.

Now the circumstances which resulted in many lost countries get through over the past, preferred to fall on us. We the Tibetans who lost the country Tibet in 1959 against the Chinese. The His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama who had started to lead the Tibet from the front at the age of 16 , brought the lost Tibetans in exile to India, Since, we the exiled Tibetans had been given much-needed shoulder by the India, we all the country men started giving sacrifice by sacrifice both in Tibet and exiled India. The time has passed over 50 yards from the exile’s birth had taken place. The peace talks couldn’t give expected result and the peace moves and other efforts couldn’t stand as a much-needed outcome. But, the hopes continue to keep the spirits alive and to show what should be the next move.

The Red Chinese has been torturing and letting the bullets flow against the Tibetans who remain still unsecured, they always trying to put the mask of their wrong done against those helpless and innocence so that it stays as a hidden to the world.  It was three or four weeks before, few of our friends had immolated themselves in Tibet, our own land for the Tibet’s complete freedom, I was shocked and became lost for seconds because they paid themselves which is the biggest contribution by in any human’s life. Not only this, the way they did was, the differentiable.

Self Immolation; The Unbeaten Sacrifice And The Horrible Murder

Is self immolation “suicide”? No, it’s not suicide, it’s murder. The world may hear and consider as a suicide but me and all my Tibetan friends had a proof to make it clear as a murder to the world and shameless or bloody Chinese, I am emphasizing this issue, how the recent self immolated was found as “horrible murder”

“The Chinese keeps their plan i.e. how to make the Tibetans disappeared from this world. So they implemented all at their best but still the success remains far behind to hug due to the blessing of the His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama which has been protecting the Tibetans. The Chinese Government used their best weapons to do all that they thought must to do and may get tired but we the Tibetans martyrs did not give up and sure will never give an end. So, they have started to torture and attack the mind to make us helpless by which all our friends to kill self by self, and leads Chinese to do their plan with ease and less input. therefore it is undoubtedly the murder in the worst way”.

But the self immolated for we Tibetans is the greatest sacrifice for our country, the Chinese may take it simply as “suicide”. Letting their own to be burned off is not just the simple thing. In the past years, I am sure many lost countries went through many sacrifices and hurdle. If we ask the one of them “Will there be more powerful sacrifice than the “self immolated”? Sure the one has only the answer i.e. no and never. Now what you the world has different conclusion ?” No, i don’t think any one has. How one can bring out against the same! One who self immolated themselves have spent the most hardest seconds ever. So how we the Tibetans can forget to bring into the account such contributions. We prayed for all who give away their lives for the Tibet. The time will and will have to answer for sure. I conclude my words with one more sayin: ” The Soul With You”

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