DHARAMSHALA: Tibetans gathered in large numbers at Lhagyalri at 07:00 am this morning to pay their last respects and pray for Tenzin Choeying who died after setting himself on fire.
Representatives of Central Tibetan Administration including members of the Kashag and members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile attended the prayer service as a mark of solidarity with the self-immolator’s family and friends.
Speaking at the prayer service, Ngawang Khedup, father of the deceased self-immolator said: “I urge the youth to pursue more powerful means such as education to contribute substantially to our cause.”
“We must have the determination to achieve our goals: freedom for six million Tibetans and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Potala Palace and place the Tibetan national flag back on the world map,” he said.
Yesterday at around 02:30 pm, before heading to Delhi for an official engagement, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay paid a visit to the TYC headquarters to offer respect to Tenzin Choeying’s body and expressed profound condolences to his parents.
On Friday, 21 July, while speaking at the prayer service organised by the Central Tibetan Administration for Chinese Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, President Dr Lobsang Sangay urged Tibetans to pray for Tenzin Choeying who was at that time undergoing treatment.
“While we understand the intention behind the act of self-immolation, we must remember that the life of every Tibetan is precious and that we must be alive to fight for our cause. In a free country, we have the freedom to embark on all possible methods to contribute substantially to advancing our cause. The life of every six million Tibetan is precious and every life lost is a huge loss for us and for our cause,” said the concerned President Dr Sangay.
The Kashag has consistently and categorically discouraged self-immolation, especially in exile where Tibetans have the freedom to participate in protests in any form one chooses to do.
Following the prayer service, Tenzin Choeying’s body was taken to the crematorium. Despite the heavy rainfall, Tibetans and supporters followed the funeral procession, chanting prayers till the crematorium where he was cremated at around 10:00 am.
The prayer service and the funeral were organised by Tibetan Youth Congress.
Despite the CTA’s repeated appeals to Tibetans not to resort to drastic measures such as self-immolation as a means of protest against Chinese rule, 149 Tibetans inside Tibet and 9 Tibetans in exile have set themselves on fire.