By Tendar Tsering
A young Tibetan refugee, Sherab Tsedor, set himself on fire outside the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on November 4, 2011 following the fiery wave of self immolations inside Tibet.
DHARAMSHALA, February 12: Following the recent surge in self-immolations and mass protests in Tibet, which have been violently quelled, Tibetans in exile say they are troubled with their helplessness at not being able to alleviate the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet.
"I have never cried in my life, nor shed a single drop of tear even at the time of departing from my family in Tibet, but in the last few months, I have cried a lot," a Tibetan youngster said at an open forum held in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala, organised by the regional chapters of the Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association and Students for free Tibet, Friday.
“My tears are not only of grief but also of my helplessness at not being able to do anything for my brothers and sisters inside Tibet,” the youngster added.
His sentiments were echoed by a number of people gathered at the discussion, many of whom expressed their pain and anger, while others complained that the Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan NGOs had “failed” to live up to the expectations of the Tibetans inside Tibet.
“I am tired of candle light vigils, going up and down in McLeod Ganj,” another Tibetan said. “It is high time our leaders organise massive campaigns in larger cities like New Delhi or resume the 2008 ‘March to Tibet’.
During the discussion, the gathered Tibetans were also encouraged to write down their suggestions and feelings on pieces of paper, which were later publicly displayed on a market street here in the town.
"Where are you -Tibetan Youth Congress and Students For Free Tibet? Please lead the Tibetan masses," one message read.
Speaking to Phayul after the discussions, Soepa, an active member of the youth congress said that something “big and effective” was in the pipeline.
"Although I don’t know in specific details, but a big and effective campaign is in the schedule, possibly this month," the activist, who is a member of the largest pro-independence group in exile said.
The exile Tibetan leadership has called for a daylong fast on the first day of the Tibetan new year on February 22 in solidarity with the plight of the Tibetans inside Tibet.
Since Tapey’s self-immolations in 2009, 22 Tibetans have set their bodies of fire, calling for the return of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Many parts of Tibet remain cut off from the outside world with a prevailing situation of undeclared martial law following mass protests in recent weeks in which at least a dozen Tibetans are feared dead in police firings.