Personal testimonies

14th May 2012

Personal testimonies from young Tibetans who have self-immolated has been passed to the outside world despite great risks. This is the latest in a series of images, video and recordings finding their way out of the country despite intensive Chinese security and communication lockdowns. Read more about the self-immolation protests here. Inspirational message from cousins who self-immolated Sonam, 24, and Choephak Kyap, 25 set themselves on fire and died in Barma Township on 19 April. Below is the recorded message that Sonam and Choephak Kyap left behind. In the audio clip the reasons behind their decision to self-immolate is outlined. These recordings are in Tibetan. An English translation is provided below.

 

The recorded message above translates to: The Tibetan Nation is distinct from others, as it has its own religion and culture. It is unique as it shows compassion and love and serves the well being of others. But the Tibetan Nation was forcibly occupied, oppressed and cheated by China. As a result we the Tibetan people suffer without our fundamental human rights. So, for the sake of world peace I set my self on fire. The suffering Tibetan people experience due to the denial of our freedom is much greater than the suffering of setting my body on fire. Our grateful parents, family members, siblings. It does not mean that we do not care about you or want to be seperated from you... It does not mean we do not cherish our own lives. Both share the same idea. So we set fire to ourselves on fire for freedom in Tibet, for the development of Buddhism, so all sentient beings can prosper, and for world peace. Therefore, you need to fulfil our last wishes. Do not do anything if we are taken away by the Chinese. If no one is hurt because of us then our wishes will be realised. If you are sad because of us then listen to learned Abbots and Tulkus. Follow the guidance of these people. If you educate yourself and choose the right direction, show loyalty and afection for your people, diligently preserve your culture and do not lose your dignity, remain united as one, then our wishes are fulfilled. Please, we urge you from our hearts to do as our message says.

Hand written letter from Nangdrol

18- year old Nangdrol self immolated in Barma Township on 19, Febuary 2012. His image has only now been released along with a hand-written letter he left behind explaining his reasons for self-immolation. The translation of the letter is: Head raised high with national pride/esteem and courage, I, Nangdrol, call on My grateful parents, brothers and relatives, For the cause of grateful Tibetan people, By giving my life to fire, Men and women of Tibet, I hope you all will maintain unity and harmony; Wear Tibetan dress if you are Tibetan; Moreover, you must speak Tibetan; Never forget you are Tibetan; You must have love and compassion if you are Tibetan; Have respect for your parents; Have unity and harmony amongst Tibetans; Be compassionate to animals; Restrain from taking lives of living beings. Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso Long Live Lamas and Tulkus of Tibet. May the nation of TIbet be free from bad or evil China. Tibetans face extreme suffering under China's rule, It is very hard to withstand the suffering, Tibet was forcibly invaded by China, It is not possible to live under its evil rule, This evil China having no love or compassion, Inflicts us with trauma without scars Ultimately, depriving Tibet of its life. Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso