By 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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