NEW YORK, US, 18 December 2017
A few days ago while busy painting my apartment, a quick glance at the social media threw me in awe, with Facebook feeds buzzing about news that His Holiness would be travelling to China of all places. I was dumbfounded at first, then, when the gravity of the news sat in, I hunkered down on my couch and started searching for major news media reports on this event, and surprisingly I didn’t find one.
HH has been working for decades to build towards such a development through his signature Middle-Way Approach, but not having ever seen much success. And now, in all actuality, more than the independence of Tibet, many Tibetans simply wish to see HH return to his rightful place and see another day from the windows of the Potala Palace, even if the skies over Tibet are still enveloped in red. The sense of urgency towards this realisation has been compounded by the looming inevitably of the impermanent law of nature.
I will never forget that Thursday afternoon last week, when I was insanely overjoyed, exuberant, and yet somehow, uncomfortable to sink into on such brazen news that fell like an asteroid out of nowhere, unannounced, and the world unengaged, I must confess!
If this was real news unfolding, this would have been a major PR failure on our part, and I am glad the news source simply jumped the gun to spawn its own story to add a little mileage to its reading traffic — or totally misunderstood the press conference our Sikyong gave in relation to an answer over political developments between CTA and the Chinese representative.
Reminiscing though, how in 1959 the Tibetan uprising was brutally suppressed and how HH, who was barely twenty four, had to flee Tibet to an uncertain future and never got a chance since to retrace his footsteps left on the Himalayas back to his motherland. Like a receding glacier, it only left a tragic dark winding scar on the face of the mountain yearning to be covered with snow.
If this news had held any proof of life and had actual legs, the gravity and the momentousness of the occasion would have been parallel to the release of such a figure as Nelson Mandela from the Robben Island that led to the end of apartheid, institutionalized racism, and his ultimate Presidential victory; and that of the release of Aung San Suki from decades of house arrest that led to her walking the street of Rangoon with her whole country behind her under a rising democratic sun. But all these parallels would have fallen apart, if the news that turned out to be fake didn’t have all the media frenzy, craze, and solidarity of the world that gives legitimacy and credibility to a change we all wish for, as the world plays witness to such an account.
I am glad regardless that this news turned out to be phony. But the genuine and spontaneous reaction that rose in my heart was real and it will never be forgotten. It was like coming across an oasis that turned out to be a mirage. I am trying to rewind the state of my mind during the first outburst of this news albeit fake, but I must purport that news like this, of a leader unlike any, who has been fighting for almost sixty years and who has shaken hands with many US presidents and world leaders, religious heads and twenty first geniuses since 1959. A spiritual man who has sowed love and compassion on every heart that beats on this planet, a man who has touched every life with his message of peace and has become synonymous with non-violence, a man who has lost his home to imperialism and yet who with folded hands and wearing sandals trotted the world to seek help for over half a century, a man who with his far-sightedness, compromised Independence for autonomy for the greater good of his people and vision of a peaceful coexistence with our nemesis, can’t be robbed of an ending to a story he and the people he leads deserves and the world if not patiently but conditionally awaits.
One day I hope in the near future, when such news would actually break, we won’t be taken by surprise, and the world will be in anticipation for such a groundbreaking event like complete independence that I would wish for, but at least to have come to some kind of solution within His Holiness’ lifetime would be worth living up for at least for now and closure to a cause, that many might not agree on but yet would be willing to live days for, hoping to see a better winds of change in this fast-changing world.
About the author
Ugyen Gyalpo lives in Woodside, New York, and works as an insurance agent for United Health Group, New York.
More articles by Ugyen Gyalpo on Tibet Sun.