Source: Mountain Phoenix Over Tibet
As great the sacrifices and as well intended, no matter from what side I try to look at them, the Tibetan self-immolations don’t feel right. The sight of people burning alive, bystanders who sometimes offer a Khata to the person in flames, compatriots abroad telling me “Tibetans in Tibet are the boss, whatever they do, we must support” – all this seems surreal. To me it feels like we have run out of ideas. The struggle has reached an all-time low.
Distancing ourselves clearly from self-immolation as a political method is not a betrayal of our sacrificing Tibetan brothers and sisters. Not distancing ourselves means approval and indirect encouragement of a method that is neither humanly sustainable nor politically effective.
Self-immolation is not okay even as the ultimate resort.
Little has it served us that the self-immolations are a desperate cry for help in the face of increasing pressure. Hopes that the Chinese will put an end to the self-immolations by making concessions are clearly not materialising. Nevertheless Tibetan public opinion abroad is that the victims are “heroes”. Tibetan-language channels also refer to Jampel Yeshi, the man who recently set himself on fire in India, as Pawo even though in his case there was no direct Chinese repression involved.