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Behind the scenes of Tibetan's self-immolation

Behind the scenes of Tibetan's self-immolation

Editor's note: From a young monk who just wanted to learn "tsema" from a learned master, to get involved in the "Tibet independence" propaganda, then to earn money through participating in hunger strike activities to enrich his experience, to a chosen potential self-immolator, Gyaso was ignorant and had no time and consciousness to think about the deep consequences and reasons behind what had happened to him.

His simple mind and impulse had become the weakness used by the “Tibet independence” organization. Like many other Tibetan young men, Gyaso was an enthusiastic and devout boy who had not formed his own mature view of the world.






After having committed two failed self-immolations, Gyatso gradually calmed down and developed a fear for his future. However, then he hadn’t come out of the crazy state as he had turned into a fanatic of self-immolation from a young lama who once dreamed of “sacrifice himself to religion”.

A few days after the two failed self-immolation plans, Lhamo Ja found Gyatso again, and told him that he had brought a good news, saying he had received an instruction from Ala Jigme, a senior official from the “Dusum Legong” (or the Security Department of the "Tibetan government-in-exile"), that Gyatso would be sent to Tibet to commit self-immolation so as to create a “bigger” influence.

After hearing the words, Gyatso hesitated and was reluctant to go back to Tibet as he had broken the law when he stole into India, and he would not know what to do if he were arrested.

Lhamo Ja was a little upset about Gyatso’s attitude. However, he could do nothing but to invite several big names to encourage Gyatso.

One night, Gyatso was received by “Dusum Legong”Kalon , a senior officer of the Security Department of the “Tibetan government-in-exile”. It was the first time for Gyatso to meet such an “important person” since he had been in India.

At that time, Gyatso had a complicated feeling as he finally met somebody thus he was determined to sacrifice for the 6 million Tibetan people.

The officer, named Kalon Pema told Gyatso “you are chosen to conduct the self-immolation in Lhasa, a place under the control of the Chinese Central Government. Then it would be China’s responsibility to explain your fight for the cause of “Tibet independence”. In this way we can get the universal attention and support of the international community, and you yourself can also become a hero admired by the Tibetan people.”

Kalon Pema told Gyatso that his family members or friends who sent his self-immolation videotapes or pictures to India could get preferential treatment and could be sent to abroad for further studying.

“However, if you are arrested, you shouldn’t say anything about us or it will bring bad influence to the ‘Tibetan government-in-exile’. And you could not come back if you didn’t conduct self-immolation,” said Kalon Pema.

Gyatso felt very angry about what Kalon Pema had told him, because in his mind, he was to sacrifice for the cause of “Tibet independence”. How could he bring bad international influence to the “Tibetan government-in-exile”?

However Gyatso held his own idea that the 14th Dalai Lama supported him, so the “Tibetan government-in-exile” would not abandon him. He obeyed their order.

In order to avoid exposing the meeting between “Dusum Legong” and Gyatso, they decided to send Gyatso to Nepel.

In Nepal, Gyatso was given 400,000 Cordoba (about 8,040 $) to steal back to Tibet with another name.

He went to Lhasa with a man named Thubten, who was also appointed by the“Dusum Legong” and asked to shoot the scene when Gyatso committed self-immolation.

However,after all the careful “preparations”, Gyatso and his allies were arrested before they arrived in Lhasa. Gyatso was brought to the police station as he was extremely nervous and didn’t have any certificate.

What kind of penalty will Gyatso face after being arrested? Will Thubten be brought to justice? Gyatso, the young lama who had been wandering between life and death was neither the first nor the last misguided fanatic who were controlled by their own irrational impulses or certain people with ulterior motives.

The question of how to guide the young people to avoid the tragedies occurring again must be answered.

Gyatso was brought to the police station and he was extremely nervous as he didn’t have ID. Later, he was found illegal entry. However, at that time the police didn’t know that he planned to commit self-immolation in Lhasa.

At first, Gyatso didn’t reveal anything about self-immolation, so he began to fabricate stories to confuse the police. But his word was too inconsistent, and even he himself was not convinced.

Gyatso once had a delusion that Thubten might come back to save him. He was afraid to mention the connection with Thubten for fear of revenge. But Gyatso finally confessed everything after he had known that Thubten was also arrested.

During the trial, Gyatso admitted that he was sent to commit self-immolation in Lhasa by the“Dusum Legong” (or the Security Department of the "Tibetan government-in-exile").

“To be honest, I did not really want to die. I felt relieved when I heard that I was sentenced to eight years.”

At present, Gyatso said that his biggest wish was to live a new life after being released as early as possible.

The biggest difference in attitude towards Chinese government and the so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile” on self-immolation issue lies in whether they cherish young people’s life, according to Gyatso.

“People here from the Public Security Bureau, the court, and the prison all asked me one same question “why didn’t you cherish your own life since you are so young?” But life is valueless for“Dusum Legong”and the“Sanqu Assiciation”. They were trying their best to encourage me to conduct self-immolation, not to stop me!”

Gyatso said there were and would be many impulsive young men like him who might follow the path of self-immolation if the Dalai clique still propagated “Tibet Independence”overseas through all means like films and newspapers.

Unfortunately, what Gyatso had been concerned came true now. One after another young people have set themselves on fire and lost their lives under the incitation of the Dalai clique.

Gyatso once said that he wished to add one picture of burning fire in his story. “I wish anyone who reads my story could feel the pain I was suffering.”

Now, both Gyatso and Thubten have been released from prison, and they have already returned to normal life, giving people some release.

From the time he stole into India till now, it seems that Gyatso has had a nightmare. Fortunately, he is still alive.

The story of Gyatso explains a fact that anyone could be controlled or manipulated under a frenzy and irrational mind state. Maybe Gyatso’s words could make a perfect ending to the story: “it is just like a dream. Fortunately, I still have the hope to start my new life.”

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