By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetan President Dr. Lobsang Sangay during the prayer service for Tengha, latest Tibetan self-immolator, at Tsuglagkhang on December 2, 2017. Phayul photo
DHARAMSHALA, December 2: The international community must pay heed to the ‘slogans and cries’ of all the Tibetan self-immolators, said Tibetan President (Sikyong) Dr. Lobsang Sangay during the prayer service for the latest self-immolator, Tengha, at Tsuglagkhang today.
“I firmly urge the international community to pay attention to self-immolators’ slogans of ‘freedom in Tibet’ and ‘return of His Holiness to Tibet’, Sikyong Sangay said.
He also said that it is important for the world to note that not a single self-immolator has inflicted any harm to a Chinese or Chinese property. As for the Tibetans in exile, he urged them not to forget the sacrifices of those who have set themselves on fire for Tibet’s cause and to stay united.
Sikyong added that Beijing must recognize the courage of self-immolators and Tibetans raising voices against rights abuses and environmental issues as signs of failure of their repressive policies in Tibet.
“Chinese President Xi Jinping and his new politburo of his second term must know that despite spending 60 years in exile and under repression, Tibetan spirit has not died. Therefore, it has become extremely important that China grants genuine autonomy as per the Middle Way Approach envisioned by His Holiness,” he said during the prayer service headed by former Tantric Master of Namgyal Monastery, Thupten Chomphel.
The prayer service for Tengha, a 63-year-old Tibetan monk who died on Nov. 26 due to self immolation, was attended by the Kashag, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, dignitaries and staff of CTA and general public.
Tengha reportedly self immolated in Kardze County in eastern Tibet’s Kham region on November 26. The elderly monk died immediately after setting himself ablaze against Chinese rule in Tibet. While he was in flames, he was heard calling for ‘freedom in Tibet’. So far, 151 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009.
As expected, the town of Dadho in Kardze County, Sichuan Province has been placed under heavy security with sentries on heightened alert and movements of the people there highly scrutinized.
The senior monk was a native of the Dadho town in Kardze and had studied Buddhism at Kardze monastery for many years. As for his immediate family, both his parents had died during his childhood. He had three siblings; one in United States and two in Lhasa city. It is also reported that he had attended the 2005 Kalachakra teachings that was held in Amravati in India.