Immolations, what's next?

By Tendar Tsering

Tendar Tsering
As a journalist, I am used to looking for the news of self-immolations inside Tibet, but nowadays the news is chasing me day after day. Almost all the days in last few weeks, I have been woken up by news of self-immolations. I am tired of writing the immolation news. In fact, I have already stopped reporting the immolations. I have resigned from my report writing job, and even resigned from the research work too. But these days, every Tibetan has become  citizen journalist, and Facebook has become their best online news portal to break all the news from Tibet. Every time I visit Facebook nowadays, a very graphic image of self-immolation pops up. 

I am confused if the image is disturbing me or encouraging me. I guess it does both. I think so is the case with the rest of Tibetans. Despite the Chinese clamp down on the Tibetans in Tibet, more and more Tibetans are setting on fire. More immolations, more restrictions but the restrictions are becoming inspiration to incite more self-immolations. But how long these fiery but peaceful protests will continue? In fact, how long the protests should go on and on? 
Because of the immolation news, I guess, these days I am getting lots of dreams-- some times I am the hero leading my fellow Tibetans and fighting with the Chinese soldiers with a gun or sword, and some times, I dream of getting caught by the armed Chinese police or being chased by them. I wonder if other Tibetans are also having such dreams these days?

I wonder if my dreams are the reflections of what I feel or think during the day, and I wonder what will happen after few months if all the Tibetans are having such dreams? Will we let our brothers and sisters in Tibet burn themselves in vain? Unless, we unite with them, their burns might go in vain. Like me, many are afraid to jump on fire or into the river, but we don't have to die to safe guard the freedom. Feeling without fear is freedom. Our brothers and sisters in Tibet have no feelings of fear. They are in fact enjoying the greatest freedom 'out of fear'-- without shivering they are doing mass demonstrations, without screaming, they are setting themselves on fire in protest against the Chinese regime. But alas! Our government in exile and many of us are unnecessarily shivering to death on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Tibet. Many of us are even afraid to report the world what we are hearing from Tibet. 

"My family has been threatened not to speak about my brother's immolation, and my village people have been bribed not to talk about my brother's immolation. So I request you not to write about that in the news paper," one of the relatives of a Tibetan self-immolator in Tibet who is currently in exile told me during an interview months back. I was so saddened to hear that because I will also do say the same thing if I am in his shoes. We exile Tibetans are being hindrance to our freedom struggle whether we agree or not. 

The fiery protests by these fearless Tibetan brothers and sisters are calling us to be united with them, and when we get that fearless feeling to join them, we no longer have to set ourselves on fire. Then, we won't have to be afraid of the fire, river, and the Chinese gun and thorn iron batons. But the Chinese government will have to be afraid of us- the Chinese people might pee in their pants!

I see Tibetans in Tibet are being united day by day, and I see Tibetans in exile are being empowered and the level of frustration and anger increasing day by day. I can see the scenario that Tibetans in exile will  (soon) storm (deadly) the Chinese Embassies, and launch a return march to Tibet where the march will be led by our elected political leader, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, and where the march will be joined by the Tibetan supporters from all over the world. When we march back to Tibet, our Tibetans in Tibet will be more empowered, and together all of us, we don't have to beg Beijing to take its people from Tibet, but we can make them cry for their lives! When we march back through the Himalayan mountains, Chinese in TIbet will scream and run away from Tibet. 

March to Tibet might begin sooner than we expect. It might start right after the ongoing three-day International Tibet Support Group Conference!

NOTE-- Tendar Tsering is a Journalist based in Dharamshala, India.

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  1. I really feel the same like you have scribbled down here, in fact not only me but most of the Tibetans too. Yes our Facebooks which was once filled with frenzy pictures of ours,now filled with strong messages and photos inculcating in us a strong sense of nationalism. we don't have to search for news about Tibet any where else but you get it in your Facebook wall every day like you have said. Well we in exile must heed to the call of our brothers and sisters inside Tibet. Lets pray for this long march to begin soon!

  2. ཡག་པོ་ཞི་གྲགས་བྲིས་འདུག།

  3. Igniting line - "Feeling without fear is freedom"
    What else can we do now in exile? Tibetans inside Tibet are so helpless, no rights whatsoever, no jobs, no educ., no nothing, on top of that - tortures and brutality, they can't even practice their daily religious activities thus to get away from all these they jump in fire. Nothing to live for and nothing to look forward more, they give up their life thinking their sacrifice can mold the world in brining peace in Tibet.

  4. Seems like our struggle is confined within this virtual boundary inside which only Tibetans suffer and die.Only when this sense of virtual boundary dissolves away from the minds of the muted spectators,nothing major seems to be coming our way.76 is not a score to keep counting.This is not to set a unbreakable record.This is "real people" burning to death.I can not bear the pain of minor blister caused by a drop of hot water or oil,can not even dream of doing what these brave souls are doing.If I may prompted to do, I may fight for our right. Majority of us will chose to take up offensive measure to win our freedom, no matter what.Common sense gone. Time is running out, rest of the world can not keep watching.If you do not notice, there are ways to create more disturbing noise. I pray our struggle ends without any more loss of our people and that our patience last longer than our struggle...Free Tibet.

  5. What sort of patience-- wait and watch Tibetans inside Tibet die on fire??

  6. You may replace "patience" with "people","spirit","race"...and etc etc.

  7. Tendar, thanks for sharing your personal inner experience. The immolations have been traumatic for all of us to witness, and then only to feel powerless to do anything. Exiled Tibetans can help by staying united and speaking out. And as tired as you may be of telling the world what's going on, keep writing, talking, speaking, sharing information. And learn everything you can about what's happening in Tibet. Arm yourselves with knowledge!

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