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Letter: Stop self-immolations

by Christian Thomas Kohl, Freiburg, Germany, The Buddhist Channel, March 17, 2016

I have heard about Dorjee Tsering, a student who died three days after setting himself on fire on Feb. 29 in Dehradun, India, while shouting “Free Tibet,” according to an advocacy group based in London.

The Free Tibet group said: “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 Tsering’s heartbreaking story.

My name is Christian Thomas Kohl. I have belonged to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since 1983. My first teacher was Kalu Rinpoche. I have three children and two grandchildren. I am a teacher of politics and history. My students are 15 years old.

I feel for Tsering like he was my son or my student. I feel very sorry for him, his parents and siblings.

I am well informed about the horrible situation Tibet has been in since 1959. I am a specialist in the history of communism.

The Chinese government is strong, so are Chinese bank managers. They are the ruling class of China.

The Chinese majority would not give up Tibet. Even a democratic China would be under the command of bank managers like those in Hong Kong, they would not grant independence or autonomy to Tibet.

Tibet has no chance for freedom, independence or autonomy. No sacrifice for Tibet would help. Shouting “Free Tibet” would not 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 more or less well known.

However, no self-immolation can change this.

Please, my sons and my daughters of Tibet, do not immolate yourselves. Do not break the hearts of your mothers.

I feel so sorry for Tsering and for his mother.


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