Group Sabotage Campaign Highlighting Tibetan Self Immolation At US University

The divide between the Chinese and Tibetans run very deep and it extends to neutral territories as well. It was on prominent display when some unidentified persons sabotaged a peaceful campaign highlighting Tibetan self immolation in Tibet at a US university.

The Tibet Initiative at Cornell University had organized a protest by putting sign boards depicting self-immolation in Tibet. There have been more than 140 self immolation in Tibet since 2008. It has witnessed a surge in the recent months.

More than two dozen posters depicting Tibetans self-immolating themselves had been put up by the members of the group. An unidentified group of persons snatched all the posters on the second day. However the first day of the campaign was successful to draw the attention of the passersby and students to self-immolation in Tibet.

The poster campaign, organized by the Tibet Initiative at Cornell, featured names and pictures of 30 Tibetans who self-immolated in an act of disapproval of Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Tenzin Dechen, an 18 year old student and a member of Tibet Initiative Group said, “Self-immolation has begun to boom since 2009 [and] the [2008] Beijing Olympics, when people were desperate about the situation in Tibet”

“That first day was great,” said Tenzin Wangmo ’18, a member of TIC. “We were not expecting people to research or act on this issue. People were stopping at the signs and just reading it. That’s all we wanted, and people were doing just that.”

Divide among the overseas Tibetan and Chinese students was very visible when the International students in USA opposed choosing His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the commencement speaker at UC San Diego.

A Chinese students on condition of anonymity said that there are different versions of history and it is best to recognize that there is a conflict. He also said that many Chinese students were unnerved by the posters as they see it as an act of defiance against Chinese rule over Tibet.

Self-Immolation in Buddhism is act of ultimate selflessness and sacrifice for sake of one’s community. The picture of Vietnamese monk self-immolating against the government still counts among the most influential pictures ever.

The Chinese State has tried every possible mean to stop people from doing that however they are failing despicably as the solutions lie in recognizing Tibetan’s right of self governance and religious freedom.

Sachin Diwaker

An engineering graduate, he likes exploring different cultures. He believes that words have the power to transcend eras and remain relevant as a treasure of humanity.

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