Dear Sir, I have heard about Dorje Tsering who has died three days after setting himself on fire. The student Dorje Tsering had self-immolated on Monday in Dehra Dun, India, while shouting “Free Tibet”, according to an advocacy group based in London. The London-based “Free Tibet” group tells us: “His father, Thupten, told Free Tibet’s research partner Tibet Watch that this is a heartbreaking incident but he is proud of his son and his sacrifice for the Tibetan nation”.
Please let me give a short commentary about this heartbreaking story of Dorje Tsering. My name is Christian Thomas Kohl. I belong to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since 1983. My first teacher had been Kalu Rinpoche. I have three children and two grandchildren. I am a teacher of politics and history. I am a specialist in the history of communism. My students are 15 years old. I feel for Dorje Tsering like he was my son or my student. I feel very sorry for him for his father and for his mother and for his brothers and sisters.
I am well informed about the horrible situation of Tibet since 1959. The Chinese government is strong. The Chinese economy is strong. The Chinese bank managers are strong. They are the ruling class of China. The Chinese majority will not give up Tibet for geographical and economic reasons. Even a democratic China will be under the command of bank managers like in Hong Kong today, these managers will not give independence or autonomy to Tibet, as they will not give independence to Hong Kong. Never.
Tibet has no chance for freedom or independence or autonomy. No sacrifice for Tibet will help. No shouting “Free Tibet” will help. Every father and every mother can be proud when they have a son or a daughter alive not dead.
The Tibetan population is treated by the ruling managers of China as if they were animals. This is not only a question of communism. A democratic China will not give up Tibet because of economic interest. This is more or less well known. But no self-immolation will change this. Please, my sons and my daughters of Tibet, do not self-immolate. Do not break the hearts of your mothers. I feel so sorry for Dorje Tsering and for his mother.
Christian Thomas Kohl
13 March 2016
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily that of Tibet Sun
Dear Christian Thomas Kohl, it is indeed a sad day when our suffering people, especially the parents and relatives of the self-immolators, have to see another seemly “useless” death. And as a Tibetan, I would like to thank you and all the concerned Tibetan supporters for being with us in our time of need.
It is true that China, whether communists or democrats, will not willingly give up Tibet (we have always been aware of China’s desire and intent to conquer Tibet throughout our 4000-year history) and compared to China’s military and economic might, Tibet is a speck of dust. Yet, our hearts and our desire to see a free Tibet evermore stronger. We do not know how and when, and it might take many generations but we will keep our spirits high by being aware of our Tibetan-ness.
Unlike the other freedom seekers of the world and the Chinese, we will not stoop to random acts of terror nor will we lay down and disappear. Each Tibetan will act according to their perceived plan to keep the flame of freedom alive, though some more gruesomely like our self-immolators, yet with least “collateral damage”. Tibet and China have always been neighbours and we had a long history of Waring with each other and conquering each other’s territories. You may say this time it is different due to globalization, and china’s economic might is destroying Tibet’s identity forever. But I say, “Never say never!” Thank you Germany.