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New documentary tells personal stories of Tibet self-immolators
Phayul[Thursday, December 13, 2012 15:17]
TCHRD's new documentary on Tibetan immolations, ‘Beyond the Numbers: A Human Perspective on Tibet’s self-immolation’ being shown at the Tibet Museum in Dharamshala on December 12, 2012. (Phayul photo)
TCHRD's new documentary on Tibetan immolations, ‘Beyond the Numbers: A Human Perspective on Tibet’s self-immolation’ being shown at the Tibet Museum in Dharamshala on December 12, 2012. (Phayul photo)
DHARAMSHALA, December 13: A new documentary narrating personal stories of Tibetan self-immolators was released by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala, Wednesday.

The rights group said the 26-minute long documentary, titled ‘Beyond the Numbers: A Human Perspective on Tibet’s self-immolation’ attempts to “restore the humanity of an immolator beyond the mere number.”

“It is an endeavour to tell the stories of how they lived, dreamed and died,” TCHRD said in a release. “It also tells the stories of ongoing struggle of those who are left behind.”

In the documentary, exiled relatives of Tibetan self-immolators Tenzin Choedron, Dhamchoe, Lobsang Jamyang, and Ngawang Norphel recollect their memories and tell stories about their loved ones.

An uncle fondly recollects anecdotes about his 22-yr-old nephew’s childhood mischief even as he struggles to comprehend the loss of a young life, while a monk tells about his emotional struggle to reconcile to the loss of both his nephew and niece in protest self-immolations.

Speaking to Phayul, the executive director of TCHRD, Tsering Tsomo said the documentary will be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as the different UN special rapporteurs and working groups.

“We have also submitted this short documentary to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, the results of which will be announced in January next year,” Tsomo said.

Speaking about the Chinese government’s allegations on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetan administration of inciting self-immolations, Tsomo said that such “propaganda tactics” were “nothing new.”

“The Chinese government just doesn’t want to take responsibility for whatever is happening in Tibet and it is very easy for them to throw allegations. Even, otherwise they would never admit their policies in Tibet have failed and that’s why all these cases of self-immolation are increasing,” she added.

95 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet since 2009 protesting against China’s occupation and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
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