Correspondent : Tenzin Khando
Tibet is an autonomous region on the Tibetan plateau in Asia. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft). The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, earth’s highest mountain rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.
Earlier it was said to have six million Tibetan population but after the forceful invasion of the People’s Republic of China in Tibet, many Tibetans suffered and faced deaths in large numbers.
The year 1959 is marked as the greatest tragedy for Tibet and its people because Tibet was completely invaded by the Chinese government. On 10th March 1959, many Tibetans rose against the Chinese government, unarmed, which resulted in a violent crackdown and many deaths.
During the Tibetan uprising, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet with some delegates and many Tibetans to India. Now he lives in India as a political refugee with many Tibetans surviving in different parts of India as refugees.
Every year, 10th of March is commemorated as Tibetan uprising day by Tibetans or non Tibetans who support Tibet in many different parts of the world to mourn the deaths of all tbe Tibetan martyrs as well as to draw attention to the situation in Tibet.
Even this year, on 10th and 11th March 2016, Tibetan Independence Organisations such as Tibetan Youth Congress, Student’s for a Free Tibet and Tibetans all over the world carried on with protests against the Chinese govt. and urged the UNO to take Tibetan issue seriously and to take action against the Chinese govt. There is no freedom of speech and freedom of religion for Tibetans living in Tibet.
144 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to be exact till date as a way of protest against the Communist Chinese government. They include common men, women, monks and nuns, some from India and others from Tibet. (Detailed information on http://www.savetibet.org/resources/fact-sheets/self-immolations-by-tibetans/ )
What struck me the most in the beginning of this year is the death of a sixteen year old Tibetan teenager. On 29th Feb’ 16 Dorjee Tsering set his body on fire and shouted ‘Free Tibet’ when his body was blazing up.
His mother tried to help him and in the process she burnt her hands as well. He was sent to the Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi for his treatment. But sadly he passed away and left every Tibetans in tears..speechless.
For me, his death defined patriotism in a whole new light.
I cannot imagine myself setting my body on fire when I was a sixteen year old girl and even now of course. Death scares us all and that is why I still cannot get over with the fact that a boy of such young age decided to die for the sake of his country Tibet. Imagine what he could have gone through before spilling kerosene all over his body and lighting up the match stick! I wonder how this young boy was dealing psychologically before his death!
Even the thought about that makes my heart cry out loud. A sixteen year old boy wanted to do something about the plight of his nation and he self immolated, maybe because he thought he is just a young helpless soul who cannot go against the powerful Chinese government.
It’s a sad start of the year 2016 for all the Tibetans. I wish better days are kept in safe for Tibetans and may peace and happiness win over the power of all the violence, greed and cruelty.
(For detailed information of Dorjee Tsering, http://qz.com/632077/quietly-a-tibetan-teenager-in-india-died-after-self-immolation/ )
The above Picture was taken in Mcloed Ganj, Dharamsala when the body of Dorjee Tsering was being carried for cremation.