Imprisoned Tibetan monk and writer Gartse Jigme in a heartfelt appeal calls on the Chinese government to reach out to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to listen to the demands articulated by self-immolation protesters, as a first step towards creating a truly harmonious and stable Tibet where respect for Tibetan rights and freedoms would replace oppression and suffering.
This essay appears at the end of the second volume of his book, “Tsenpoi Nyingtop” (The King’s Valour) which was published this month in India after the author was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He is being imprisoned at an undisclosed location.
About the book, Gartse Jigme writes:
While publishing this book, I endured loads of pain. Tears drenched my heart. For the true values of truth, justice, rights, equality, peace and harmony, I sacrificed everything and wrote this book. This [book] is a source of joy to me. It is my hope for the future. The book is not at all meant to prove my heroism. This book is a way out for me to shed tears once for the suffering of my ancestors. The book is not written to prove my scholarly credentials. It is a way out for me to shed tears for the pain and suffering endured by my fellow-countrymen. To be honest, I am not a hero. I am not a scholar. I am not wealthy. I am nothing. Amid the waves of truth and justice, I cried once with the suffering of my fellow countrymen.
Below is the full essay translated and edited by TCHRD from the original Tibetan version:
My heartfelt Appeal to the Chinese Government
If I do not have the right to express my views, then there is no purpose for me to exist as a human being. So I am going to express my opinion, [of what I believe as] the ultimate truth, until I die. With all the abilities that I have, I am going to speak out the truth of Tibetan people’s suffering to the Chinese government. Since the Chinese government is responsible for the Tibetan people’s suffering, it alone can help end this suffering. With tears in my eyes, I earnestly appeal the Chinese government to end the suffering it has inflicted upon the Tibetan people.
Let me explain the truth of the issue [in a different way]. The famous Chinese scholar, Jei Xin Ling, said that in order to create a harmonious society, one must create a harmonious spirit. Similarly, in order to create peace and harmony between nations, nationalities, states, and between government and citizens, there has to have mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual solidarity and so on. Oppressing each other, cursing each other and ridiculing each other will never create genuine harmony. Such a situation is like [the conflict] between fire and water.
Merely asserting that the resentment and conflict between nations, nationalities, states, between government and citizens, should be resolved peacefully is not enough. [One has to work on this]. Therefore, instead of always demonising His Holiness the Dalai Lama by calling him ‘the Dalai bandit and separatist,’ Beijing should find out multiple ways to resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict – to the satisfaction [of both parties]. Like a spark, every conflict should be nipped in the bud before it gets out of control and [burns everything]. I am expressing this sentiment out of genuine concern.
No matter how much one tries to conceal the historical facts, they are going to surface one day. In this era of 21st century, the consciousness of the Tibetan people is being awakened, as the months and years pass by. Opportunities to manipulate and fool each other are getting slighter and slighter. Therefore, only by being truthful to each other rather than indulging in manipulative acts, nations, leaders, governments and citizens can have trust and unity. If one engages in truthful reflection, one would realise that there is a valid historical justification behind the resentment of the Tibetan people. Lies and deception, as such, cannot subjugate millions of people all the time.
During the 1950s and the Cultural Revolution, tens of thousands of Tibetans were murdered and jailed. Many died of hunger. These are historical facts. No one can wipe them out. Even in the 21st century, Tibetan people have not gained equal rights to pursue their own language, commerce, politics and environmental work. Such [inequalities] are clearly visible to the naked eye and have caused much resentment in the hearts of Tibetan people. Therefore, since 2008, a series of non-violent protests have rocked the Tibetan plateau. In fact more than 90 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in an act of tragic protest. For these reasons, the Chinese government must find out a viable solution to assuage the resentment of the Tibetan people. Guns and armoured vehicles, imprisonment and torture, demonisation and curses will never succeed in pacifying the Tibetan people. Predicting these incidents, and in an apparent wish to overcome them, Bawa Phunstok Wangyal submitted a good petition to the [then] Chinese President Hu Jintao. The latter, however, did not pay any attention. As a result, we all have to bear the consequences today.
There is not a single person who does not think about the [importance of] life and livelihood. That someone is able to sacrifice his or her life and livelihood means that he or she is clearly going through unendurable pain. For any kind of pain, there is always medicine to relieve it. It would be wise if we find out the medicine. As a Tibetan, who happens to be a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, I have expressed the real pain and suffering of my people to the Chinese government. However, those people who curry favour with the higher authorities through their deceptive talk, but manipulate the masses below by constantly telling lies, I consider such people a pack of wolves and demons filled with lies and deception. Such people can devour government’s money and swallow the blood and sweat of the masses. They never do any welfare work benefiting people, but spend all their efforts and time to achieve personal gains. Among these people, we have Tibetan tulkus (reincarnated lamas) and Tibetan cadres as well. They never petition the higher authorities to [alleviate] the suffering of the Tibetan people. Such circumstance is responsible for the fact that the real policies from the above are not manifested among the masses.
It is my hope that, rather than misleading the higher authorities by sweet talk and oppressing the public below, they must sincerely bring to the attention of the higher authorities the real issues confronting the masses. They must speak out the true hopes and aspirations [of the masses] and implement the provisions of the Constitution [sincerely]. I think taking such measures will be helpful in easing out the tensions.
In the hearts of more than ninety nine percent of the Tibetan population, His Holiness the Dalai Lama dwells like a ray of sun. Therefore, no Tibetan will accept the constant demonisation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Such a demonisation is unbearable to the Tibetans. They will make every effort to resist it. If democracy truly exists, then the Chinese government must seriously take into account the wishes and yearning of more than ninety nine percent of the Tibetan population. They must conduct negotiations with either His Holiness the Dalai Lama or with his representatives, so that His Holiness could return to his homeland. Such an effort will reduce the conflict.
As a Tibetan, more especially as a monk, I have expressed my heartfelt views to the Chinese government. I have expressed them honestly. My words are not tainted by lies and deception. I have expressed the suffering of my people honestly. I have penned a few essays demonstrating the pain that lies in the heart of more than ninety nine percent of the Tibetan population. I have spent my own money to have some of my essays printed and published. The fact that I have not succumbed to the fear of getting imprisoned and tortured by a dark regime that does not see reality, the purpose [for my speaking out the truth] is to hope for real peace and real harmony – bereft of bloody conflicts. While publishing this book, I endured loads of pain. Tears drenched my heart. For the true values of truth, justice, rights, equality, peace and harmony, I sacrificed everything and wrote this book. This [book] is a source of joy to me. It is my hope for the future. The book is not at all meant to prove my heroism. This book is a way out for me to shed tears once for the suffering of my ancestors. The book is not written to prove my scholarly credentials. It is a way out for me to shed tears for the pain and suffering endured by my fellow-countrymen. To be honest, I am not a hero. I am not a scholar. I am not wealthy. I am nothing. Amid the waves of truth and justice, I cried once with the suffering of my fellow countrymen.
In short, the Chinese government, instead of ridiculing and denouncing the unbearable and tragic suffering of the Tibetan people, must make efforts to find out the root cause [of the tragedy] taking into account the truthful and just laws of Karma. With an open and liberal [mind], it should conduct negotiations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, so that the two demands of the self-immolating Tibetans [could be fulfilled]: 1) return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet 2) genuine autonomous rights for the whole Tibetan population. I have a firm faith that if Beijing fulfils these two demands, the painful and tragic issue of Tibet would be resolved. However, if the Chinese government continues to dictate through violent repression, while the masses continue to pursue the [path] of rebellion and vociferous protests, then the situation might get out of control, leading possibly to more violent and bloody conflicts [in future]. In order to prevent [such an eventuality], tears in my eyes, I have sent this appeal through wind to Beijing.