Jamphel Yeshi, 27, engulfed in flames runs through the streets in New Delhi at a protest rally demanding international intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet on March 26, 2012. (Photo: Reuters / Adnan Abidi)
DHARAMSHALA, May 15: Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile said that a statue of Jamphel Yeshi will be built to remember and honour his sacrifice for the Tibetan freedom struggle.
The announcement was made earlier today during the 49th day mass prayer service for Jamphel Yeshi held at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala.
His Eminence Kirti Rinpoche presided over the special prayers attended by hundreds of Tibetans, including monks and nuns.
“Today is the 49th day since the demise of Martyr Jamphel Yeshi, who set himself on fire in an effort to restore Tibetan nationhood and pave way for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet,” TYC said in a release.
“TYC will dedicate a statue to Martyr Jamphel Yeshi so that his courage and fortitude will forever guide and inspire us,” the release said while adding that Jamphel Yeshi's burned clothes worn during his self-immolation protest will also be preserved.
Jamphel Yeshi, 27, had set himself on fire on March 26
, at a mass protest rally in New Delhi, organised by TYC, demanding international intervention in the ongoing crisis in Tibet and protesting Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India.
Suffering 98 per cent burn, Jamphel Yeshi passed away in the morning of March 28.
Tibetan Buddhists believe that after death, the consciousness takes at least 49 days to travel from one life to the next and conducting prayers during this period can assist and guide the deceased towards a good rebirth.
In a hand written letter found after his demise, Jampehl Yeshi had clarified the purpose of his sacrifice.
“What I want to convey here is the concern of the six million Tibetans,” Jamphel Yeshi wrote.
“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.”
This is the second instance when TYC will be dedicating a martyr’s statue in honour of Tibetan self-immolator.
TYC earlier built a bust statue of Thupten Ngodup in Dharamshala to honour and pay tribute to his sacrifice.
Thupten Ngodup is the first known Tibetan to have set himself on fire for the cause of Tibet. He set himself ablaze in New Delhi in 1998 at the site of an indefinite hunger strike organised by TYC.
In Tibet, since 2009, the fiery wave of self-immolation protests has witnessed 35 Tibetans torch their bodies demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. Mass protests in recent months have been violently suppressed following a call for “war” on peaceful protests by senior Chinese leaders.