Agam's Gecko
Thursday, October 12, 2006

esterday, I quoted from Phayul.com's first accounts of the Tibetan survivors who had just reached Kathmandu, which included this statement by a Buddhist monk from Gyamda County, Tibet:
...I saw that western mountaineers took pictures, I am sure they would have pictures...
Previous reports indicated that up to 100 foreign climbers witnessed the shooting. The Explorersweb site published a call yesterday for any climbers with photos to please come forward. Just three hours later, Slovenian mountaineer Pavle Kozjek responded.

Tibetan nun lies dead on Nangpa La Pass
The Tibetans' escape track across the snow-covered pass, and the body of 17 year old Buddhist nun Kelsang Namtso, who had been leading the children. Photo: Pavle Kozjek / explorersweb.com

Advanced Base Camp has been described as approximately 300 meters from the scene. The following detail must have been clipped from a higher resolution copy of the image, showing the body of 17 year old Kelsang Namtso and what appears might be her knapsack.

detail of slain refugee
Detail enlargement. Her body was left here in the snow by Chinese troops for a day and a half. Photo: Pavle Kozjek / explorersweb.com

The young nun had been in charge of around 15 children when she was killed. Most of the children were captured (at least one is said to have made it through to Nepal), and were marched through the Base Camp soon after. Climbers said the camp was "overrun" by soldiers, leaving them too worried to say or do anything.

Chinese military with captured children
Chinese military police marched the captured children through Advanced Base Camp about 30 min. after the shootings, here looking down at Nangpa La Pass. Photo: Pavle Kozjek / explorersweb.com

Pavle has his own mountaineers' website, Sportkanal.com.

An account carried by the New York Sun quoted a 24 year old woman describing her escape:
"They warned us to stop, then they started shooting. We were running. The bullets were landing near us. The nun who died was 100 yards ahead of me. I saw her fall down. I was lucky. A bullet tore my trousers, but it missed me."

The refugee, who was a farmer in Tibet, asked not to be identified to protect her family who remain in the country.

After the shooting earlier this month, she hid for eight hours in the snow with two other women before venturing out.

They walked past the body of the dead nun, who she said was 17-year-old Kalsang Namsto, face down in the blood-stained snow with a bullet wound in her back.
On average, about 2,500 - 3,000 Tibetans make the long trek to freedom each year, taking an average of 34 days on their journey. The driving force behind their determination to escape from under Chinese domination, is a need for education in their own Tibetan language and culture, or a wish to receive the teachings of their own Buddhist religion -- all of which is denied them in Chinese-occupied Tibet. It is with these brave and tough seekers of freedom that the hope of survival for Tibetan civilisation rests. They know the risks involved -- frostbite, hunger, death, prison, torture -- but the need for freedom is stronger.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will receive each and every one with a personal blessing when they reach India (those who make it). For a Tibetan, this already makes all the suffering and hardship worthwhile. They invariably break down into tears of happiness when they see him.

This shameless Chinese repression has gone on long enough. Actually, it's gone on 56 years too long. Cultural genocide is the softest way to put it. If the UN should wish to test out its new theory, apparently known as the "Responsibility to Protect," I doubt that very many human beings would object to it being applied to the long suffering Tibetans (excepting, of course, the more insecure and childish among Han Chinese chauvinists). Should the Chinese communists eventually succeed in extinguishing the Tibetan civilisation, as the "civilised world" silently watches, the shame will be indelible. If we wanted to find a solid example of the powerful, universal need for freedom, we won't find a more exemplary or inspiring case than that of the Tibetan people.

Well, London is speaking up. How about Turtle Bay? The UN is in session now, can we at least get deeply concerned?


Powered by Blogger

blogspot counter