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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Blog: A Marcher's Journey Home

July 25, 2008

Agam's Gecko
July 23, 2008

The Tibetan refugees' Satyagraha, the long march home, came to a
close at the end of last month after the last remaining marchers were
arrested within sight of their homeland by Indian police. The Tibetan
People's Uprising Movement is ready for the next phase of the
struggle during and after Beijing's big party. This TPUM statement
cites "the fierce urgency of now" in opposing the Chinese Communist
Party's second cultural revolution in Tibet.

The Tibetan Youth Congress, dubbed by extremists in the Chinese
government as a "terrorist" group (unbelievably, taken at face value
by some "news" organisations), vows to carry out its own phase two,
beginning with a fast for their country's freedom on July 28 in New
Delhi. A mass demonstration on August 7 and other unspecified
activities are also planned by TYC, all of which will be "based on
the principles of nonviolence and Gandhi's tradition of 'satyagraha'
(insistence on truth)." Is the CCP actually afraid of TYC
"terrorism"? No. They are afraid of the truth.

Freedom lovers around the world are asked to light a candle for the
Land of Snows, and mark the arrival of Her Flamey-ness -- a
"double-headed symbol of peace and hypocrisy" -- with a monumental
distress signal.

But let's return to those incredible marchers, who came this close to
reaching their country. A Buddhist monk now in exile had a story to
tell on his way home.

We started our day at 6 in the morning. And now we have reached our
campsite for the night. We walked about 15 kilometres today. It took
us about a month to walk from Dharamsala to Delhi. Today is the 5th
or 6th day since we left Delhi.

* * * *
The Chinese government conducted patriotic re-education in my
monastery, Podha, in 1997. The main objectives of the program were;
to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to obey the Chinese
government, to be a patriotic monk who loves the government as well
as religion, and to denounce the separatist clique. At that meeting,
a few of us monks shouted slogans for Tibet's independence. We wrote
"Tibet is independent," "Long Live His Holiness" and "China Get Out
of Tibet," and drew Tibetan national flags.

The Chinese found out about it and we were arrested. I was arrested
on September 1st, 1997. I was sixteen years old at the time. For the
first three months, I was severely beaten. I was sure that I was
going to die. Because for three months I was badly tortured. During
that time they beat me with sticks, electrocuted me. It would take a
long time to tell you about the tortures I have suffered under their
hand. 15-16 policemen would gang up on one person, strip us naked and whip us.

After three months of beating, I was sentenced to three years in
prison. After my prison sentence was over, my political rights would
be taken away for two years.

* * * *
Three months before my prison time was over, they had a picture of
His Holiness on the cover of a book. I took the picture and placed it
near my pillow, and the Chinese police found out about it and
increased my sentence by one month. So, in total I was imprisoned for
three years and one month.

Why did you come to India?

My main reason for coming is lack of freedom, and that His Holiness
and the exile Tibetan government is also based here. Also, to
continue my work for the Tibetan freedom struggle. Even though my
whole family is still in Tibet, I came to exile to work for Tibet and
Tibetan people.

* * * *
As a monk, my reason for joining the movement - innocent Tibetans are
subject to torture, and even killed. So being a monk I joined the
movement to protest that. This being a peaceful movement, I think
it's valid for a monk to be part of it.

Tibetan Buddhism also teaches patience and discipline. Without having
an enemy in front of you to practice patience on, it's difficult to
practice patience in a cave. Therefore, practicing Buddhism enables
me to handle hardships skillfully. Furthermore, it is a critical time
for Tibetan Buddhism's existence. And as a monk, when I think of all
that, this is the right movement to join.

* * * *
I pray for the health and long life of all of those Tibetans who are
suffering in Tibet, and all those who are in prison, and for all
those injured who are scared of seeking help from Chinese hospitals,
and who have no other source of medical supplies. I pray for them to
get medical attention.

And I pray that I will be able to march all the way to Tibet. And not
only reach Tibet, but also be able to alleviate the suffering of
Tibetan people.

Those readers who don't (or can't) view video, or who might have
become impatient with the lovely Tibetan folk music interludes (it
really reminds me of some Thai or Burmese country music) now have the message.

The power of this movement is in its truth, and the pure commitment
of its movers. Now watch, and if the subtitles are sometimes
illegible, they're all here above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waQSgkIUPok&eurl=http://agamsgecko.blogspot.com/
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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