On the “Day of the Imprisoned Writer 2014″, High Peaks Pure Earth remembers Tibetan writer and teacher Dolma Kyab, sentenced to ten and a half years in prison in March 2005.
A year ago, High Peaks Pure Earth published the Preface and First Chapter of “The Restless Himalayas” and subsequently published Chapter 3, Chapter 54 and part one of the final Chapter, Chapter 57.
We conclude our translations today with the second part of Chapter 57 and also the Afterword of the unpublished manuscript.
The Restless Himalayas
Chapter 57: A Letter to all Tibetans
By Dolma Kyab
Dear Tibetan brothers and sisters: For years, there has been one particular great, dear, benevolent, righteous Tibetan fighting for Tibet. He has sacrificed so much. He has acted as our protection amulet on countless occasions, protecting us from the enemy’s harm. This person is none other than the great, venerable 14th Dalai Lama.
My fellow countrymen, today, all Tibetans must consider this person. We should unite and bring His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama back to Tibet. This is our historical mission. Although the Chinese government fools those poor Chinese people with its political lies, saying that the “Dalai Lama is a conspiring separatist who wishes to split the Motherland,” however, they are unable to fool us Tibetans. And they cannot change the place in our hearts permanently occupied by the Dalai Lama, as this has been solidified by history. For no amount of theorising would be enough to convince a son to not believe in his own father or betray his own family. We are proof of this fact. The Chinese government has incessantly criticised and lampooned our great, venerable Dalai Lama, yet their extremely one-sided arguments have done nothing to influence our absolute respect for the Dalai Lama. On the contrary, our respect for him and our hope to regain the freedom of our country have only increased. Therefore, let us explain the whole issue with the following: A person can reveal another person’s faults or criticise another’s behaviour, and thereby win praise or sympathetic support from others. In this way, a person can also take off all of his clothes and use his naked body to insult the viewpoints of others. However, to date, we cannot find any evidence to support that these two behavioural patterns are correct. Similarly, we can very confidently say that it is much better for a group of benevolent, just people to come across incorrect ideas than it is for a group of idiots to come across correct ideas. This is because the benevolent and just will work hard to correct the incorrect ideas, and the morons will do just the opposite. I have always held this opinion, because we Tibetans have verified its validity. The truth will always belong to us. I have often found this to be true, and it has always inspired me to take on even more of the pain of our scarred ethnic hearts.
Therefore, you courageous and rational fathers, respected and wonderful mothers, lovely and beautiful women–we should infuse our children with the soul of the nation; we should encourage the men to contribute to the nation. For parental love is what powers one’s growth; for a woman’s love bursts with power. This kind of love is humanity’s greatest source of power. We must express this kind of power in absolute terms. We believe that the expression of this power can easily morph into a spirit of national rejuvenation. As a family sits down to eat supper together, parents can say to their children, “Work hard for the nation.” Women can tell their lover or husband, “We should work hard for the nation.” This alone is enough to allow the children and the men to understand. More importantly, they will not betray their own people. To implore [all Tibetans] to do this, I am willing to kneel in front of all Tibetans and inform everyone of all I know. Perhaps some of you may feel that this behavior shows weakness, but you will see a different side [of me] when you see me standing in front of the enemy’s guns for our freedom. Everything [I do] is for the pursuit of happiness through freedom.
Dear Tibetan brothers and sisters: Let us unite under the guidance of the venerable Dalai Lama’s spirit. Let us drive out our enemies together. Let us achieve the happiness of freedom. We must resolve never to fail in our pursuit of happiness–that is, unless the structure of the world is somehow fundamentally flawed, or that Tibetans are innately servile and therefore do not wish to test their own capabilities, thereby rendering the realisation of our ideals impossible. However, I believe that the honest, benevolent, profoundly loving and just Tibetan people will never adopt such a way of thinking, as that would represent a great evasion of responsibility. [Tibetans] would never want to push Tibet into an era of even more pain and darkness. Likewise, I believe that if you have not forgotten your own history, you will certainly and passionately agree with our position.
But if you are familiar with our history, and yet still turn away and abandon us, then you are innately and seriously flawed. How could this statement be wrong? For example, during the Second World War when Japan invaded China, imagine that a Chinese person, who was familiar with his own history, was too afraid of suffering personal loss and therefore abandoned all of his fellow Chinese. This would demonstrate this person’s innate weakness. Otherwise, how could he forsake his own people and run away? China never became a colony of Japan, and this is certainly in no way thanks to those Chinese people who ran away. The opposite is also true for Tibet. Tibet has become–and still is–a colony of China. Those who have abandoned us bear a certain amount of responsibility for that fact.
Finally, [I would like to state that] the development of this book progressed in a complicated environment. It’s main theme is freedom. Within the context of achieving Tibetan independence, anyone may criticise, refute or discard my book in any way. However, those who sing a wholly different tune have no right to criticise or refute any of my viewpoints, because all of my viewpoints [effectively] equate to freedom. And besides, [opinions against Tibetan independence] hold no value. Those are opinions that would not constitute any threat to the academic community. Likewise, there is no value to anyone or any Tibetan who is not for Tibetan independence. Those who do not wish to gain freedom and who criticise my position are doing nothing more than inciting me to write yet another, similar book. Only if you can discredit all of my views can we then present a different account to the world–only then could we explain that it is wrong to think that Tibetans should be free, and that this will allow Tibetans to live in peace. But if not, Tibetans will never be able to live peacefully as serfs. Because today’s Tibetan youth are different than their predecessors.
In the past, as our predecessor Shakabpa wrote in the conclusion of the English version of his book “Tibet: A Political History”, “There’s a very small possibility that there perhaps will be one day when China will give Tibet back to the Tibetans, similar to how many countries in the modern time period have allowed certain areas they once controlled to become independent. It’s also possible that the Chinese Communist Party will allow this, as their country develops to a certain level, and transfer Tibet from their hands back to the Tibetans. However, no matter what, the probability of this happening is very distant. Currently, this probability is very small.”
Dear Tibetan brothers and sisters: Today, these words seem like an historical relic. For the Tibetan masses are witnesses to a strong trend. As time passes, Tibetans realise more and more who the real masters of Tibet are. It is no longer China’s decision whether to give Tibet back or let Tibet become free. Rather, today’s young Tibetans must pressure the Chinese government to make their final judgement. This trend grows stronger with each generation. No matter what, the probability of gaining freedom grows as time goes on. The Chinese government dodges and covers up all its various justifications for its actions, not because they fear the international community can see through them, but because the new generation of Tibetans does not believe their excuses on a fundamental level. Furthermore, the increased intellectual communication taking place between all Tibetans is unconsciously exposing all of the Chinese government’s lies, and many Tibetans are now treating the Tibet issue as a personal issue. All the drivers and herders all over Tibet hold this fact in their hearts. They communicate with one another, repeatedly telling their people to unite. Therefore, we should not be afraid; we should not shed tears. Our victory is certain. You all–dear Tibetan brothers and sisters–my beloved family: we must maintain our efforts onward. Our glory is definite. Do you know what day March 10th commemorates? It is the day of Tibetan Independence. All the millions of Tibetans must remember this special day. Perhaps we have suffered many defeats, but the greatest victories are encompassed within the clutches of defeat. Am I right?
The last drops of ethnic blood course through our veins. The integrity of ethnic revitalisation swells within our flesh and bones. Our lost homeland remains protected deep within our hearts. All of this shall be set alight and shall shine on our land. Heaven will be our witness, Buddha will send his blessings. We will fight for ourselves and for all of humanity.
Finally, I bow before all the Bodhisattvas and before all people with enlightenment-minds. I convey my utmost respect to all who fight for Tibet, and I pray that the Buddha shall protect them. Let us return to walking forward along the path of our people and the path of Buddhism.
This book is dedicated to my people, for through them I have met so many. This book is also dedicated to the great 14th Dalai Lama, for he has allowed me to understand how to eliminate greed and walk the path of altruism. In addition, this book is also dedicated to my parents and my brothers and sisters, for their devoted Buddhist faith, passion for life and care for me has shown me how to better care for others.
Because of this, here in the afterword of my work, I would like to thank my people for the knowledge they have bestowed upon me. I would like to thank the 14th Dalai Lama for the guidance he has provided me through the way he lives his life. I would like to thank my father, mother, brothers and sisters. And I would like to thank my countrymen and others for their support and care–especially my friend Mr. Luomu (pseudonym), who strongly supports ethnic causes with great zeal. In addition, I have been provided with gratuitous unpaid assistance by the countrymen of a certain organisation. Two leaders of a certain administrative organisation greatly facilitated the revision process in the development of this book. And there is also a venerable monk who provided me with selfless assistance. A Mr. Tenzin Yonten (pseudonym) of a certain translation firm helped me with typesetting and proofreading; his selfless work ethic has earned my deep admiration. I have discovered that I have been helped by all kinds of Tibetans–from senior officials to everyday citizens. I will never forget this for my entire life, for I have witnessed the hope of our people. Perhaps no one expected much from this work. However, everyone banded together for the sake of the cause of our people, helping one another and sacrificing their own energies–and this is more valuable than anything else. This alone is enough for me. Once again, I would like to express my highest respect to those fighting for Tibet!
Considering all of the unpaid assistance I have received, I suddenly thought of writing a chapter in this book discussing Tibet’s future–Shangri-la and Tibetan education. However, due to the limitations of my abilities, I was unable to complete this chapter.
Because of this, I have decided that if this book earns the compensation it deserves for the work put in, I will donate 30% of the earnings to Chinese education organisations for children in impoverished areas, and another 30% to Tibetan education organisations for children in impoverished areas. Fifteen percent of the remaining 40% will be directly invested into the Soga Transit School, located in India’s Tibetan region. This will provide the students with some daily spending money, giving them a little compensation for their education. Indeed, this is what my parents most want to see me do. Other than this, I can do nothing else.