Wednesday, July 23, 2008
A MARCHER'S JOURNEY HOME
he Tibetan refugees' Satyagraha, the long march home, came to a close at the end of last month after the last remaining marchers were arrested within sight of their homeland by Indian police. The Tibetan People's Uprising Movement is ready for the next phase of the struggle during and after Beijing's big party. This TPUM statement cites "the fierce urgency of now" in opposing the Chinese Communist Party's second cultural revolution in Tibet.
The Tibetan Youth Congress, dubbed by extremists in the Chinese government as a "terrorist" group (unbelievably, taken at face value by some "news" organisations), vows to carry out its own phase two, beginning with a fast for their country's freedom on July 28 in New Delhi. A mass demonstration on August 7 and other unspecified activities are also planned by TYC, all of which will be "based on the principles of nonviolence and Gandhi's tradition of 'satyagraha' (insistence on truth)." Is the CCP actually afraid of TYC "terrorism"? No. They are afraid of the truth.
Freedom lovers around the world are asked to light a candle for the Land of Snows, and mark the arrival of Her Flamey-ness -- a "double-headed symbol of peace and hypocrisy" -- with a monumental distress signal.
But let's return to those incredible marchers, who came thisclose to reaching their country. A Buddhist monk now in exile had a story to tell on his way home.
We started our day at 6 in the morning. And now we have reached our campsite for the night. We walked about 15 kilometres today. It took us about a month to walk from Dharamsala to Delhi. Today is the 5th or 6th day since we left Delhi.
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The Chinese government conducted patriotic re-education in my monastery, Podha, in 1997. The main objectives of the program were; to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to obey the Chinese government, to be a patriotic monk who loves the government as well as religion, and to denounce the separatist clique. At that meeting, a few of us monks shouted slogans for Tibet's independence. We wrote "Tibet is independent," "Long Live His Holiness" and "China Get Out of Tibet," and drew Tibetan national flags.
The Chinese found out about it and we were arrested. I was arrested on September 1st, 1997. I was sixteen years old at the time. For the first three months, I was severely beaten. I was sure that I was going to die. Because for three months I was badly tortured. During that time they beat me with sticks, electrocuted me. It would take a long time to tell you about the tortures I have suffered under their hand. 15-16 policemen would gang up on one person, strip us naked and whip us.
After three months of beating, I was sentenced to three years in prison. After my prison sentence was over, my political rights would be taken away for two years.
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Three months before my prison time was over, they had a picture of His Holiness on the cover of a book. I took the picture and placed it near my pillow, and the Chinese police found out about it and increased my sentence by one month. So, in total I was imprisoned for three years and one month.Why did you come to India?My main reason for coming is lack of freedom, and that His Holiness and the exile Tibetan government is also based here. Also, to continue my work for the Tibetan freedom struggle. Even though my whole family is still in Tibet, I came to exile to work for Tibet and Tibetan people.
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As a monk, my reason for joining the movement - innocent Tibetans are subject to torture, and even killed. So being a monk I joined the movement to protest that. This being a peaceful movement, I think it's valid for a monk to be part of it.
Tibetan Buddhism also teaches patience and discipline. Without having an enemy in front of you to practice patience on, it's difficult to practice patience in a cave. Therefore, practicing Buddhism enables me to handle hardships skillfully. Furthermore, it is a critical time for Tibetan Buddhism's existence. And as a monk, when I think of all that, this is the right movement to join.
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I pray for the health and long life of all of those Tibetans who are suffering in Tibet, and all those who are in prison, and for all those injured who are scared of seeking help from Chinese hospitals, and who have no other source of medical supplies. I pray for them to get medical attention.Those readers who don't (or can't) view video, or who might have become impatient with the lovely Tibetan folk music interludes (it really reminds me of some Thai or Burmese country music) now have the message.
And I pray that I will be able to march all the way to Tibet. And not only reach Tibet, but also be able to alleviate the suffering of Tibetan people.
The power of this movement is in its truth, and the pure commitment of its movers. Now watch, and if the subtitles are sometimes illegible, they're all here above.