…Emphasis on “young.” Both of them were under twenty.
“Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a monk at Kirti Monastery and Damchoe, 17, a former monk at the monastery self-immolated on 27 August 2012 outside Kirti monastery, Ngaba Town. According to eye witnesses, they took about 20 steps near the east gate of the monastery, shouting slogans and then fell. Chinese security personnel put out the flames and took them to local hospital initially and later to Barkham hospital. Sources said that they both died.”
Since news and media is heavily monitored by Chinese officials, there is still some uncertainty whether these two young people did indeed pass. There is also a case a monk and his niece, a nun, who may or may not have immolated. It seems most Tibetans believe they did indeed self-immolate in protest.
Here is a list of the Tibetans who have recently risked, or lost, their lives for Tibet in this fiery form of protest: http://standupfortibet.org/learn-more/
It should be noted that all of these individuals called for freedom for Tibetans and the return of their Dalai Lama before the immolation. It should also be noted that H.H. the Dalai Lama and the new political voice of Tibet, Lobsang Sangay, have been calling for the “middle way,” and officially discourage self-immolation and intentional death by starvation via hunger strikes. The stance is in solidarity, but discourages violence of all types – even self-inflicted.
Here I take a moment to remind everyone of what is happening, but also to reiterate the focus and purpose of this project: to share Tibetan voices with the world. Unlike their brethren in occupied Tibet, the women who will fill the pages of Restored Voice are free to speak – they simply need the venue. Tibetans are killing themselves for freedom of speech. Let us support their rights by supporting Tibetans in exile who can – and are eager to – speak, and share. Empowerment by simply listening to these women is the intrinsic product of Restored Voice.
In addition, it is my personal belief that the spreading of education, multi-cultural understanding, and expansion of worldview via writing will be achieved each time a non-Tibetan picks up this book and reads the stories of each young woman’s life, hearing the voice of an oppressed young woman struggling in the Tibetan Plateau, and then of a free exile in India.