Tibetan martyr, Tsewang Norbu who self-immolated August 15, in protest of China’s oppressive occupation of Tibet, maybe thought by some to have committed a futile and tragic act, with no positive benefit. Yet, his death and the political protest for Tibetan independence, he undertook prior to setting himself ablaze, has again reminded exiled Tibetan communities that the struggle against China’s tyranny endures. Moreover his desperate yet courageous action declared to the wider world the political aspirations of Tibetans inside occupied Tibet. Tsewang did not call out for ‘autonomy’ or some limited improvement for human rights under China’s rule, his demand was emphatic and one known in the hearts of all Tibetans, independence for Tibet!
All those who truly care for Tibet can honor Tsewang’s sacrifice by making sure that his actions are neither misreported or exploited, already some have been disgracefully choosing not to inform that he was protesting in support of Tibetan independence, while others, inluding an English support group (Free Tibet Organization) which ironically is no friend of Tibet’s independence, has published a harrowing photo of Tsewang’s agonizing death. This has caused an outraged reaction from many, who question the insensitivity of releasing the image, and wonder if that organization is exploitatively promoting itself?
It is to be hoped that the rally for Tsewang, being arranged later today on the streets of London, will have the decency and solidarity to express the same political aspirations which were demanded by Tsewang Norbu, can we hope to see placards and banners calling for Tibet’s independence outside the Chinese Consulate? Or will those in England so quick to publicize such disturbing images of Tswang’s demise choose not express such support? If so their actions and words on Tibet’s latest martyr are callous and hollow!