What must be done in such juncture?
[Guest Post by Son-of-Yak-n-Yeti]
“What must be done in such juncture” is the one most crucial question every Tibetan must ask themselves and what role must I play as a Tibetan is another? I have often wondered what must have gone in the minds of those disciples of Lord Buddha who took such extreme steps of self immolating knowing the consequences. It needs great resolve and strength of character to set ablaze oneself. We would never be able to know the pain and humiliation they have undergone under brutal regime but one thing is certain that these tragic acts demonstrate the desperate cry for help. They had the guts to stand up for what they thought was right and couldn’t refrain from turning blind eyes to the untold sufferings our brethrens have been going through. We, in the land of freedom, just can’t afford to seat and watch their supreme sacrifices go wasted. Observing Lhakar, which proved to be a non- violent sting on Dragon’s fang, is one way to keep us united and rekindling our nationalism but UNITY among Tibetan Diaspora is only way to keep the flame of freedom burning. The recent tragic incidents prompted me to pen down my thoughts.
How can unity can play such an important role? I chose to consider this for a while.
The term “unity” has changed in form and significance as I have been exposed to the wider world. I still remember how my class was told to unite for an upcoming inter-class tournament during junior school days. That was the first time I learned the spirit and significance of unity. We were told numerous tales depicting the strength of unity and how people working together can topple mighty powers. In high school, the term “unity” expanded its horizon as we geared up for inter-school tournaments. This was only the beginning.
I realized the deeper meaning of “unity” and its coinage when my Tibetan teacher chronicled his escape from Chinese occupied Tibet, defying extreme hardships before reaching the Indian plain, with the pledge of restoring freedom and hope to Tibetans undergoing untold pain and torture under Chinese regime. He eloquently assessed the gravity of the problem and how the Chinese regime is hell bent on creating rifts among Tibetans by all kinds of crooked and dishonest methods. He believed Tibet’s solutions solely depended on Tibetan people’s unwavering faith in the path shown by His Holiness and an unflinching spirit of unity. He was deeply troubled to see how divided Tibetans in exile were, and how sectarianism and regionalism divided them. It was during early 2000 when the Shugden issue was at its extreme and playing havoc on the Tibetan diaspora. Those words still echoes in my bosom: I had the firsthand experience of unity playing a significant role in moulding our nation’s future.
The immediate threats posed to unity are sectarianism and regionalism maintained with a blinkered attitude and shortsightedness without regard of the Tibetan nation’s plight. We still often are unable to leave behind our nation’s archaic baggage, and its sheer dependency on external powers’ intervention. Though world gained much from Tibet’s loss, for some she became a political tool to play with. We gained much reverence and respect for our ancient customs and Buddhist tradition through the noble example of His Holiness. His Holiness is admired by people throughout the world, from politicians to princes, tinsel town celebrities to Nirvana seekers. His charismatic personality and indefatigable hope for peace and non-violent change earned him the highly coveted Noble Peace Prize. Since then whole world learned to view Tibet and its brethren in a different light.
In the meantime, the Chinese Communist Party has tightened its grip by connecting China with resource rich Tibet via world’s highest railway, flooding Tibet with poor migrant workers and Chinese business people. Tibetans have now become second grade citizens in their own country. Such persecution and status often results in the demands for secession with its ensuing conflicts. It is high time to shed power politics to accomplish unity in diversity while appreciating the socio-economic, political and cultural rights of the Tibetan population. The responsibility solely rests on the powerful nations whose geo-strategies are to be blamed for the present imbalance in the world’s harmony and peace. The authoritarian regime imposed by China on Tibetans has completely failed to win their hearts, leading to mass unrest prior to the Olympic Games and a renewed a sense of nationalism and hope for change amongst Tibetans, their supporters, and peace loving people all around the globe. Global powers condemned the Chinese Communist Party for its brutal crackdown, muzzling free speech, and not respecting Human Rights, but behind the closed doors Tibet was sold time and again, global powers signing new pacts to profit from Tibet’s hydropower potential, oil, gas and other energy reserves, and mineral resources, in the process turning a blind eye to the inevitable long term damage to Tibet’s people and environment. The fact is nobody, except few hardcore fans and activists, cares much for Tibet’s ecology and fragile environment so long they get to fill their bank accounts.
Move on to 2011; illegal mining continues, oppression is widespread, nomads are forced to live in settlements, honest hardworking Tibetan entrepreneurs, singers, monks, nuns and writers are put behind the bars for standing up for their rights and speaking their mind. The Tibetan language, one of the core attributes of our nation, came under the CCP’s devilish scanner. It was inevitable as every twisted plan of theirs has failed to diminish the Tibetan people’s spirit, and have only served to increase Tibetan’s sense of nationalism. As language plays a vital role in uniting us as Tibetans, it became their easy prey.
Now, after ten monks’ and nuns’ supreme sacrifices have given a new momentum to the Tibetan cause. Though we stand today at a crossroad: one path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other leads to total extinction. There is a third way though. Lhakar Movement has been proving successful and dragons are having hard time taming the snow lion’s ingenuity.
The only solution that can save us from this wobbling abyss is “UNITY” among us. Sectarianism and regionalism can derail our struggle and aspiration. Every Tibetan should know that they are Boepa before he/she is U-Tsangpa, Khampa or Amdowa; before he/she is Gelugapa ,Nyingmapa, Kyagupa, Sakyapa, Bonpa or others. Otherwise, the Chinese Communist regime may succeed in destroying Tibet before Tibetan’s see again the light of freedom.
“As Long As Tibet Remains Enslaved, The Only Bride I Chose Is Death:……….
I, Son-of-Yak-n-Yeti, being Non-Tibetan or honorary Tibetan, by virtue of the fact that I spent most of my formative years among Tibetans have you might call an innate affinity with Tibetans. It sensitizes me, having the same gene (Tibetan Gene), how unjustly my brothers and sisters in Tibet are treated by communist regime…..Boe Gyalo…………