World is watching us burn and die

Tenzin P. Pamnor 
By Tenzin P. Pamnor

The continuity of China’s repressive policy over Tibet is responsible for the suffering and undertaking of such desperate way of struggling for freedom. When we burn we are expecting the world community to extinguish the fire of agony. However, no nation is helping out to ease the escalating tension and critical situation inside Tibet.

Never in the history of Tibet’s freedom struggle had experienced such a distinguished method of fighting for one’s national freedom. No nation in the mid 20th century did the people resorted to such undertaking of self-immolations for the freedom. Any authoritative historian in this world should or could have made a special keen interest in the investigation of what transpired the people of Tibet to resort to such pity and desperate action. With more than 30 Tibetans (mostly inside Tibet) committing self-immolations and dying the latest being Pawo (Martyr) Jamphel Yeshi the international community still doesn’t care much about what is happening in Tibet. 

Just the morning of my writing of this article, I learned a Tibetan youth; Dhondup Phuntsok, 26 jumped from a bridge into the Ganga River to death in the Indian city of Kolkata to high-light the Tibet issue. He died with a free Tibet T-shirt, and notes leaving behind saying, “I am dying for a free Tibet, and my own decision, no one’s.”

I really don’t understand what’s going on in this small planet of human beings. Tibetans are fighting for freedom from the shackles of red iron rule that doesn’t respect human right and what is being human. The very negation of religion (especially Buddhism) talks more vocal of their insensitivity towards human being. If they are rejecting religion because of the reason for Tibet’s back-warded then they are mistaken.

Whatever development China has accomplished so far visibly has been succeeded by manifold invisible sufferings of their own people. China has more casualties of coal mining than any other world. Most of the nations in Asia and Africa had gone through the same colonial experience and they fought and won not only with the tears and blood of their own but also due to the tiredness of the colonial activities by the West countries. With the freedom struggle in the mid 20th century at its height, dozens of nations won their freedom. Tibet, like any other colonized country lost its territory and political authority when large number of countries in Asia and African continents was coming out to form new independent states. This is for me one of the darkest chapters in the Tibet’s political history.

Not to mention the loss of 1.2 million Tibetan people due to Chinese atrocities in Tibet from 1959-1979, there are still large number of Tibetans being held up in number of prisons. Tibet can be declared to have the world’s largest prisons for political prisoners in the present age. As no nation works for other nation without a tinge of political-social or economic benefit to be retrieved from the ailing country, it is no easy task for any nations to help Tibet politically or militarily though we don’t seek the latter. However, the spades of self-immolations especially by young Tibetans still evince the unpopularity of China’s one sided and partial policy on Tibet still now. Chinese are politically bullying the Tibetan people in the same manner as they did to our previous generation people. A state sponsored terror among people and local people’s treatment of Tibetan with the increase in the number of Chinese population is clear danger to the very existence of Tibetan ethnic, culture, religion and language. It is genuinely clear that Cultural and Ethnic Genocide is taking place in Tibet. His Holiness himself agrees to this perceptive reality.

The continuity of China’s repressive policy on Tibet is responsible for the suffering and undertaking of such desperate way of struggling for freedom. When we burn we are expecting the world community to extinguish the fire of agony but unfortunately on Chinese themselves are the one arresting the burning body or the dead body of our martyr. No world leader had strongly opposed China’s policy on Tibet. United States and British led NATO and other extra-national community helped Libya to come out of one single person Gaddaffi, still working on the Syria problem where the dead of people is much less than the Tibetan people. India’s stand on Tamil people causalities have stake in the ethnic politics. West have their own global financial interest in Libya, Iraq (Saddam’s was ousted by US and British led forces), Syria. Both China and Russia vetoed U.S led resolution on Syria. Dr. Lobsang Sangay, our only political hopeful after Dalai Lama and the Prime Minister of Tibet is working night and day travelling around the world for sheer political support.

No nation in the U.N have been able to raise Tibet issue excepting the issue of human rights. Human right for me is not the issue we can manage it in our own way. The main issue is Tibet being occupied illegally by China. No powerful nations as that of United States raised Tibet issue in the Security Council, the most powerful and important body of United Nations.

It is really disheartening to see how the world is watching us burn and die and not doing anything sorely owing to either their own national interest in China or fear of rising militant China. Tibet has no oil like Libya and Iraq, no nation has interest in Tibet like others have on Syria. The political equation didn’t work out or in favour of Tibet. United States can play the card of Tibet against China’s veto on Syria issue. India, our second nation and home for lakh-some Tibetan Diasporas have politically been very silent on Tibet issue against China. Tibet really is fighting against an elephant with its moue teeth. However mouse can make a hole out of mountain to finally bring down the elephant mountain to the ground.

It is downright wrong to think that Dalai Lama is the sole issue for the Tibet-China quagmire. At stake is 6 something million Tibetan people and not individual. For Tibetans he is the saviour of us and our ultimate supreme leader. He is not only the source of power and leadership, but also a source of happiness. Seeing him is millions’ hopes.

Therefore, the Tibet issue is between Tibetan people led by Dalai Lama and Chinese government. If the world still wants to watch then you can. Tibetan people may even resort to mass self-immolations if single-hand self-immolations are not entertaining to you. The most important thing is not to ask for dialogue with China but to force them for dialogue. The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi can be burned to ashes though it may be difficult. Not a single leader of China has been assassinated so far in our freedom struggle when they have murdered millions of our brothers and sisters.

 The media too needs sensitive news and they are doing their job of spreading news while we have to ensure that news is not only heard and seen but also experienced. I can bet that many more self-immolations will follow either inside or outside Tibet and may even lead to mass self-immolations. Life once lost can’t be bought or made again even if the bio-science is at its zenith level. When life is used for the freedom struggle it means no other option is left for them to fight against the mighty China. Let us burn and when the burning is ignored it will be carbonised to the hilt beyond stoppage.

NOTE—Tenzin P. Pamnor is a senior student specializing in Political Science at Madras Christian College, Chennai, and currently he is the president of Tibetan Association, Madras.

Stay tuned to TIBET TELEGRAPH for more news and views on Tibet and Tibetan life, and on areas of interest to the Tibetan readers


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