We hear from our colleagues running @tibettruth that there continues to be a minority of so-called supporters of Tibet who are choosing to either wilfully or unwittingly misrepresent the courageous sacrifices of those Tibetans who have self-immolated. Following on from the flawed petition on Tibet from Avaaz.org, that portrayed such actions as desperate and seeking religious freedom, we gather an English group calling itself ‘free tibet’ has been publishing tweets suggesting that ‘Tibetan self-immolations will continue until nations in the west take action’? Whether this is a bold assertion or some interpretation of events, it is very misleading in creating the impression that this is somehow an objective of Tibetans who choose self-immolation as a protest. According to information from friends in England organizations there possess something of a record when it comes to misrepresenting the nature and objectives of Tibet’s true cause. Perhaps such Tibet related groups suffer from an aversion to the subject, or mention, of Tibet’s independence? Whatever maybe the facts we thought it would be useful to remind such organizations what Tibetans, who choose to set themselves ablaze, are actually demanding.
The most recent case took place on Sunday January 8 in the Golok area of Amdo in Eastern Tibet in which Mr Sopa Tulku (later reported by some sources as: Nyage Sonamdrugyu) dowsed in gasoline set himself ablaze shouting “Free Tibet”and “Long life for His Holiness the Dalai Lama” .Sopa had also posted many flyers around the walls of the local town of Dari County. The following is a translation, courtesy of Dossier Tibet/Claudio Tecchio, of his poster and it is important to read exactly what he decided to make this fatal sacrifice for:
“I am self-immolating to commemorate the Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009; for our national freedom and religious freedom, for liberty and freedom of speech. I am not self-immolating for my personal interests . but Tibetan people need to live a long life for Dalai Lama. Tibetan people need to unity, work hard for the future of Tibet. Don’t lose hope, there will be a happy day.” (Emphasis Added)
This testimony may well have been authored by all the other Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009, its objectives, hopes and demands are the very heartbeat of Tibet’s struggle for independence. It is certainly not the last statement of a despairing individual nor an appeal for western intervention or simply a call for China to moderate its policies in Tibet. It is a declaration of independence for Tibet and those organizations and individuals who choose to ignore, conceal or misrepresent that reality dishonor and betray the sacrifices of these brave Tibetan patriots.