High Peaks Pure Earth has published an article by Woeser that was written for the first issue of the Hong Kong Magazine “Dongxiang” (Trend) on January 5, 2010 and published on her blog on January 17, 2010.
“So many horrible things have happened proving that this regime is brutal”.
This is what a foreign journalist who had been to Xinjiang earlier last month, said to me. Later on, at the end of last month, right before Christmas Eve, he stood in the cold wind in front of the entrance to the Beijing Court waiting for the controversial Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo, who was being interrogated inside. I told him that on the very day of Liu Xiaobo’s interrogation, there was in fact another piece of bad news related to Tibet. A respected religious leader, the 53-year-old Buramna Rinpoche was wantonly framed by this brutal political regime. He had been deprived of his personal freedom since 18 May 2008 which ended with facing an eight and a half year, dark prison sentence.
Reserved as he was, the journalist could not hold back his anger, not to mention myself. Moreover, I felt defeated. Last year, when the court interrogated Buramna Rinpoche for the first time, I thought we could probably save him from this disgraceful frame-up simply with the help of the attention, media reports and appeals of the outside world. Many people have been working hard on this, Rinpoche’s relatives, Beijing’s human rights lawyers, renowned international media representatives as well as numerous human rights organisations.
However, just as the year before, last year was a year in which we suffered disasters. As proven by news from different regions in Tibet, there are still many Tibetans secretly being arrested, sentenced and harshly punished. I have been trying my best to record all these happenings on my blogs but all of them are such bad news, which makes us really despair. Just as President Obama arrived in Beijing referring lightly to “fundamental rights, which all humans possess”, the two authors Kunchok Tsephel and Kunga Tsayang were harshly punished. At the same time, there are several human rights cases which haven’t been made public and there are many people who have not even obtained any sympathy from the outside world. When foreign journalists were interviewing me, I told them that there might still be a series of human rights disasters to come. Shortly after, a Xining court sentenced Dhondup Wangchen to 6 years because before the Olympics he filmed the documentary “Leaving Fear Behind” which expressed the thoughts of the Tibetan people.
To tell the truth, at the time we placed hope upon that American President. Of course, it is ridiculous to entirely place one’s hope on other people, but the American President, who always claimed to protect freedom and human rights, will invariably give hope to many men and women in the world. Furthermore, he recently even won the Nobel Peace Prize. However, who would have thought that when facing a brutal regime his legs would turn to jelly? He actually even set a bad example. It’s not that we want to take out all our anger on him but he really did set a bad example. After he stood in awe, full of admiration, in front of the Great Wall −the symbol of totalitarianism− leaders from other countries visiting China later on, also kept the two words “human rights” to themselves.
I am not saying that in this country, all the misfortune which dissidents, Tibetans, Uighurs, or other minorities have come across, was merely caused by being abandoned by those Chinese politicians who use high-sounding words. Yet, it is certainly not completely unrelated. All things rely on each other; all beings are dependent on each other, not to mention in today’s globalisation, the world’s climate has already changed, everybody in the world is already Twittering. Hence, the existence of a brutal regime is in fact a universal tragedy for humanity and not just limited to one nationality or country.
Everything is continuing to get worse. Before the advent of year 2010 Buramna Rinpoche was wronged and punished. This means there will be a region which will never be peaceful again. Just like another religious leader named Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who was framed seven years ago, even after seven years, there are still tens of thousands of people who signed their names or affixed their thumbprints [on a petition], and several thousand people protested in a sit-in for him. Consequently, several hundred people were arrested, and many people were beaten. The turmoil this incident caused has not quietened down yet.
Nonetheless, at the beginning of the New Year I came across a very moving piece of writing by a Tibetan in his early twenties. He used Tibetan and Chinese to write the following: “We often speak of nationalities, often speak of the future, sometimes we will persist in doing so; although there are people out there criticising and suppressing us, we should never bear a grudge, let alone take revenge. All the misfortune we have come across originated from causes we sowed in our past. We should try our best to find inner peace and be merciful. Nevertheless, we should not give up trying to strive for the rights all humans deserve. As long as we are merciful, not resentful and continue with a calm mind to make efforts gradually, there will be one day when our wishes come true and we can freely bathe in warm sunshine.”
January 5, 2010, Beijing