By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 29 November 2016
Tibetan freedom fighter Langtsa Tsetan Dorjee may have disappeared without a trace, but his words about his works and life mission live on in his book, The Peaceful Struggle of Tibet, launched on Monday by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel inaugurated the book. Langtsa’s mother Dhompo Kyi fought tears as she spoke about her son. She and her daughter had participated in the march chronicled in the book.
The book was written in Tibetan during Dorjee’s eight months in a Nepal jail after his first India-to-Tibet march in 2012.
He wrote the books on scraps of paper and periodically passed them to Tibetan monk Ta Dhonden on jail visits, entrusting him to turn these papers into a book.
Dorjee concluded his writings on 25 August 2012 before his release from jail. Later Ta Dhonden collaborated with TCHRD on developing these writings into the book, which was published with financial assistance from some Tibetans in Switzerland.
The freedom fighter has been missing since June 2013 during a “Peace march to Tibet” from McLeod Ganj, which he began on 10 March that year, Tibetan Uprising Day. The purpose of the march was to tell the Chinese government that China and Tibet need to have a dialogue to resolve the Tibetan issue.
He had undertaken two India-Tibet marches. The first march in 2012 created controversy after he carried Tibetan, Indian, Nepalese, and Chinese flags. Tibetan Youth Congress convened a press conference to express their opposition to his act of carrying a Chinese flag.
In this march his mother, Dhompo Kyi, and younger sister, Lhamo Kyi, also walked with him from McLeod Ganj. At the India/Nepal border they were all detained by Nepalese police and handed over to the Indian police. While in detention Dorjee escaped to continue his plan to go to Tibet, while his mother and sister had to discontinue the march due to health issues.
On re-entering Nepal he reached Lumbini and came to a Tibetan Buddhist temple where he thought he could seek refuge for the night. The temple caretaker called the lama of the temple, who was in Kathmandu. The lama inexplicably told him not to let Dorjee stay at the temple.
On the way to Kathmandu he was detained again by the Nepalese police. In the detention centre he saw wanted posters of himself, and realised the police had been actively looking for him.
The chief in the detention centre told him, “You have two choices: We hand you over to the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu (which the Chinese had been requesting), or you go back to India.”
Dorjee said, “Hand me over to China, this is what my mission is about.” Instead he was held in the jail for over eight months, where he wrote the book. On his release he returned to India.
In his book Dorjee has vividly written about issues and encounters he had on his first march. and his visions to resolve the Tibetan issue through peaceful means.
He started a second march in 2013 on the same day, 10 March, from McLeod Ganj, in which he intended to enter Tibet.
Dorjee was last seen in Gangtok in June 2013.