The charred body of Tamding Thar who self-immolated on June 15 in Amdo Chentsa in front of the local People's Armed Police camp in an apparent protest against Chinese rule.
DHARAMSHALA, June 19: In his last words before setting himself on fire in an apparent protest against Chinese rule, Tamding Thar called for Tibet to be ruled by Tibetans.
In a quatrain written in Tibetan, Tamding Thar, also called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, a demand common to all the 39 other Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009.
Tamding Thar wrote:
“I take refuge in the Three Jewels - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
With the hope that peace prevails on earth,
With the yearning for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his land,
For Tibet to be ruled by Tibetans, I set my body on fire as an offering of light.”
Tamding Thar had set himself on fire
on the morning of June 15 in Chentsa, Amdo, eastern Tibet, in front of the local Chinese police station. He passed away soon after his fiery protest.
Despite a heavy deployment of security forces, thousands of Tibetans later that day attended his cremation to pay their last respects and also made offerings of Khataks, traditional Tibetan scarves, and lighted lamps at the site of his self-immolation protest.
The elderly Tibetan belonged to a nomadic family in Lowa village and was forcibly moved to the region, a few years ago, under the 'nomad relocation' policy of the Chinese government.
Tamding Thar is survived by his wife Choemo Thar and three sons, the youngest aged 20.
In other instances of testaments made by Tibetan self-immolators, Choephag Kyab and Sonam, who carried out a twin self-immolation protest on April 19 near a local government office in Barma township recounted the suffering of the Tibetan people due to the lack of fundamental human rights and the forced occupation of Tibet.
“So, for the restoration of freedom in Tibet and world peace, both of us in sound mind, are setting ourselves on fire,” Choephag Kyab and Sonam stated in a recorded message
. “The Tibetan people’s suffering due to denial of freedom is far greater that the tragedy of setting our bodies on fire.”
Sopa Rinpoche, a respected spiritual figure who passed away in his fiery protest in Golog on January 8 stated: “I am giving away my body as an offering of light to chase away the darkness. I am taking this action neither for myself nor to fulfill a personal desire nor to earn an honour. I am sacrificing my body with the firm conviction and a pure heart just as the Buddha bravely gave his body to a hungry tigress (to stop her from eating her cubs).”
Jamphel Yeshi, the 26-year old Tibetan who set himself on fire in New Delhi on March 26, in his last written statement said: “What I want to convey here is the concern of the six million Tibetans. At a time when we are making our final move toward our goal – if you have money, it is the time to spend it; if you are educated it is the time to produce results; if you have control over your life, I think the day has come to sacrifice your life. The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering, and to tell the world about the denial of basic human rights. If you have any empathy, stand up for the Tibetan people.”