DHARAMSHALA, November 13: Father of Tibetan self-immolator, Tamding Tso, who passed away in her fiery protest last week, has made an emotional appeal, requesting people to pray for his daughter to be reborn in an independent Tibet in her next life.
“I request you all to pray that may my daughter be reborn in an independent Tibet and hear and see His Holiness the Dalai Lama in her next life,” Tamding Kyab said in a conversation with a group of local Tibetans who had come to offer their last respects.
Earlier reports had indicated that a large number of Tibetans had visited Tamding Tso’s home to pay their condolences and show their solidarity.
Kyab said his daughter was “always concerned about Tibet’s situation” and clearly stated that her self-immolation protest was for the “cause of Tibet and not for any family reasons.”
“What triggered her self-immolation,” according to Kyab, was when both father and daughter went to the nearby Dowa town a month ago and “saw Chinese government posters reiterating the ban on pictures of the Dalai Lama and calling on Tibetans to publicly protest separatist forces and their activities.”
Kyab said his daughter was “visibly angered” and very saddened to see those posters, and recollected telling him: “Father, this is the sad destiny of Tibetan people. We can’t even keep and pray before the picture of our spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
A copy of the notice obtained by the Central Tibetan Administration reads, “the government imposes complete ban on keeping photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama” and pledges to “maintain unity of the motherland and fight against the Dalai group’s separatist activities.”
Tamding Tso, 23, mother of a seven-year-old son, later set herself on fire near the Ghe Mar thang in Dowa town at around 5.30 pm (local time) on November 7 shouting, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama must come to Tibet.”
Before leaving her home that day, Kyab said Tamding Tso cleaned the house, offered prayers in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait and took petrol from their motorbike.
“When I came to know about my daughter’s self-immolation protest, it felt as if my heart was pulled out of my chest,” Kyab said. “She was my favourite and most beloved daughter. I never raised even a finger on her since she was born.”
However, the aggrieved father said his daughter’s decision was for the larger Tibetan cause and for the wish to see the return of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama on their thrones.
“So, I think it is of no use to ponder over anything else than to respect her decision and sacrifice,” Kyab added. “Therefore, I appeal to all of you to remain united and work together to fulfil her goals and aspirations.”
Following Tamding Tso’ self-immolation protest, eight more Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet, taking the toll to 72, since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009.