A few weeks ago I posted a brief article on the immolation of two Tibetan men and spoke about its relevance to modern day colonialism. Though this week included the major event of the 18th National Congress in Beijing, which is well worth mentioning I have been struck by recent footage and wanted to touch upon this Tibetan issue once more. Below is an incredibly moving video of two individuals committing an act of self immolation.
This video is just one sign of continued unrest in Tibet which has included student demonstrations and nearly 70 cases of self-immolation over the last year and a half. The unrest has resulted from unhappiness about the Chinese government’s policy towards Tibetan religion, culture, and language. However these protests have so far done little to change Chinese policy.
It should be mentioned that I am not a deep believer in the building awareness movement that seems so popular in the United States. News of sweatshops throughout China and Southeast Asia have not stopped myself nor any of my friends from purchasing name brands, nor has news of global warming. So it is with some sense of sadness I post this video, because I feel that my thoughts on this issue and my small attempt to inform a larger American populace will not ultimately result in any real change, even within myself. The Tibetan tragedy much like the Native American tragedy in my own country places a small minority group against not only the government in power, but against the vast majority who view them with apathy.
However I have decided to go ahead and post this article not for Americans but for Tibetans who rightfully feel that their cry for help is going unheard. If nothing else I want them to know that I realize what is happening, and that I am willing to offer a few minutes of my own life to share their sacrifice, all the while knowing that I should be willing to offer more.