Vanished Activist Vows 'Peaceful Struggle' in Tibet

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Lingtsa Tseten Dorje in a screen grab taken from his video.
Lingtsa Tseten Dorje in a screen grab taken from his video.
Photo courtesy of Amdo Association.

A Tibetan protest marcher who disappeared in June after walking from India to the border with Tibet planned to enter the Beijing-ruled region to wage a “peaceful struggle” for Tibetans’ rights, according to a video statement filmed three days before he went missing.

“The moment I enter Tibet, my peaceful struggle will begin,” Lingtsa Tseten Dorje said in his video, a copy of which was recently obtained by RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“The right place for us to struggle is inside Tibet,” Dorje said in his recorded statement.

Dorje was last seen on June 8 at a monastery in Kalimpong, in West Bengal near the Tibetan border, after being detained for nine months in Nepal following a failed first attempt to reach Tibet together with his mother and sister.

His mobile phone, bedding, and other possessions were left in the care of a monk at the monastery, sources said.

Dorje may have expected to be detained on crossing into Tibet amid tightened security following a wave of Tibetan self-immolation protests challenging Chinese rule.

“If I am finally able to reach Tibet, one of three things may happen,” Dorje said in his statement, which RFA received on July 17 from the Amdo Association, a Nepal-based community mutual assistance group.

“I could disappear and never be heard from again, or I could be tried and sentenced to jail, or I could be tortured and beaten to death.”

“I am ready to face these situations,” he said, adding, “To struggle for freedom in Tibet, one must have strong determination and be prepared for great sacrifice.”

'March to Tibet'

Dorje launched his first “march to Tibet” campaign on March 10, 2012, in Dharamsala, India, the seat of Tibet’s exile government and the home of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

After traveling through several Indian states with his mother, Dompa Kyi, and his sister, Lhamo Kyi, he was detained by Nepalese authorities at the border with India and was held for nine months in Kathmandu.

He began his second attempt on March 10, 2013, again traveling from Dharamsala until his disappearance in June.

Despite Beijing’s stepped-up security, Tibetans have continued with their protests and resistance against Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.

A total of 121 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule in Tibetan-populated areas, calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama.

The burning protests come as reports indicate that Tibetan human rights have plunged to a new low amid arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, and the erosion of language and cultural rights.

Early this month, Chinese police in Sichuan province fired on unarmed Tibetans celebrating the Dalai Lama’s birthday, wounding about a dozen people, some seriously, according to sources in the region.

Tibet’s India-based exile parliament condemned the shooting in Tawu (in Chinese, Daofu) county as an “extremely brutal and inhuman act.”

Reported by Lumbum Tashi for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.





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