DHARAMSHALA, August 19: Months after Rikyo, a Tibetan mother of three, burned herself to death, a note left behind by her calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made its way to exile.
The Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in a release yesterday said they received the note, written in Tibetan in black ink on white paper, from a reliable source with contacts in the region.
In the note, Rikyo, 36, calls on her fellow Tibetans to be united and preserve the Tibetan culture and language to ensure the return of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.
“Prayers for world peace and happiness! To ensure His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet, do not indulge in slaughtering and trading of animals, do not steal, Speak Tibetan, do not fight.”
Rikyo set herself ablaze on May 30, near the Jonang Zamthang Gonchen monastery in Zamthang (Ch: Rangtang) county, in the distraught Ngaba region, the nerve centre of the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet. She succumbed to her injuries at the site of her self-immolation protest.
In the note, Rikyo further urges local Tibetans not to fight with Chinese authorities if she falls into their hands alive and tells her family not to worry.
Rikyo's last handwritten note.
“Bearing all sufferings of the sentient beings on myself, Do not resist by fighting if I get into Chinese hands alive, Be united, Study Tibetan culture, On fire I burn, do not worry my family.”
With Chinese authorities threatening to take away her body, Rikyo was cremated the same day in a haste near the Jonang Gonchen monastery.
Over 5000 Tibetans attended the grand funeral ceremony to express solidarity and pay their last respects. Prayers were held until the next morning under the watch of a heavy security presence.
Rikyo is survived by her husband, Nangtong, 41 and three children – two sons, Lobsang 17, Kunga, 10, and daughter Semlha, 14.
The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 50 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.