Louis Esterhuizen. Tibetaanse selfdood by wyse van protes

“Die Boeddhisme is ‘n geloof en ‘n filosofie; bowenal is dit egter ‘n leefwyse”, skryf Rob Nairn in sy boek ‘n Stil gemoed – ‘n Inleiding tot die Boeddhisme en meditasie (1993: Kairon Press). Verdermeer is dit na alle waarskynlikheid die enigste godsdiens ter wêreld wat nog nooit by ‘n oorlog of enige vorm van militêre handeling betrokke was nie, ten spyte daarvan dat bykans elke godsdiens vrede en verdraagsame mededeelsaamheid propageer.

En tog is daar weinig godsdienste wat groter vervolging as juis die Tibetaanse Boeddhiste ervaar; grootliks vanweë die Chinsese besetting van hul grondgebied.  ‘n Mens sou wel kon dink dat die warboel in die Midde-Ooste tans verantwoordelik is vir die feit dat die wêreld se aandag elders gefokus is as op China se jarelange en entoesiastiese vergrype aan mensregte en verdrukking van ‘n weerlose volk, maar helaas. Ons weet uit ervaring dat geen wêreldmoontheid bereid is om China teë te gaan nie. Hiervan getuig ons eie regering se onlangse weiering van ‘n reispermit aan die Dalai Lama, byvoorbeeld.

Watter opsie by wyse van protes bly daar dan oor vir die Tibetane? Die mees afgryslike denkbaar …

Selfimmolasie of – verbranding.


En oor dié afgryse swyg die media soos oor bloedskande in die familie. Op ‘n webtuiste genaamd International Campaign for Tibet vind ek die volgende: “The Chinese authorities in Tibet have intensified measures to prevent information reaching the outside world about the self-immolations. This has been combined with a more aggressive and formalized response to the self-immolations, involving harsh sentencing and torture for those suspected of involvement, even if that is simply bearing witness. Due to this climate, it is impossible for this list to be fully comprehensive, and it is indicated on the list where circumstances of the self-immolations are not fully known.”

Dié betrokke webtuiste verskaf nie net ‘n lys van die 132 selfimmoleerders met hul biografiese besonderhede daarby nie, maar ook skakels na ander verbandhoudende webtuistes.

Nietemin, die volgende statistiek is van belang:

    131 van die 132 selfimmolasies het sedert 16 Maart 2011 plaasgevind.

  Hiervan was 111 mans en 21 vroue.

  24 van dié selfimmoleerders was jonger as 18 jaar.

  13 van die 132 was monikke van die klooster te Kirti in Ngaba.

  Twee van die 132 was nonne van die Mame Dechen Chokorling klooster in Ngaba.

Maar wat sê die digters? Op Big Bridge Press se webtuiste  kan ‘n bloemlesing met gedigte deur Tibetaanse digters gevind word, maar die treffendste is myns insiens die uitgeweke digter Gade Tsering se twee gedigte op High Peaks, Pure Earth; veral vanweë die skreiende reëls: “Afterwards, go to see the cold monastery that looks like / ruins. A monk /
One matchstick // The tears on / Your cheek turn to ice.”

Terloops, indien jy gedigte van Tenzin Tsundue – die Tibetaanse aktivis aan wie Gade Tsering sy twee gedigte opdra – wil lees, kan jy dit hier vind. Ek plaas hieronder die eerste van  Tsering se twee verse. (Gaan lees gerus die tweede een op die webtuiste.)


“My Tibetanness” By Gade Tsering
– Dedicated to Tenzin Tsundue

“Somebody said to me:
You are Tibetan, I am also Tibetan.”

“I am Tibetan.
But I am not from Tibet.

Never been there.
Yet I dream
of dying there.”

You once again speak the truth!


“In a place far away from Tibet,
In a dark corner, you
See an endless sight,
A dark faced girl’s yearning for me makes me
feel sad;
My whole life.”

Smiling mercifully
Just remembering makes me want to cry
How many close relatives disappeared there, never to return
And how many joys and sorrows
Continue here –

“My life’s root guru,
In this life before death I’ll cross paths with you. ”
Caring for each other silently
For the sake of the mission which disappointed us by falling below our expectations

“Within, my body has already tied down
These bloodline roots. ”


Strong wind screams –
Butter lamps flicker

Soul-stirring mantra
How can it pour out of a soul be tarnished?

Prostrate on the ground
I can only soak in an ethnic group on the verge of cultural assimilation, thinking about you … …
A group of refugees!


I am Tibetan
ID issued by the People’s Republic of China
Registration card issued by the People’s Republic of China
Fill out a form, and hand in a form
Nationality column, I need to write; “Tibetan!”
Occasionally, the leadership will say:
“Consistent with the Central Committee,”
I say “OK, leadership please relax!”
Can only leading such a life
be considered life?

Over the many years
I always think that I have been undergoing a great change
Always pray for tomorrow

Each Spring Summer Autumn Winter
I have suffered so much pain. Could this be
worldly love?
Love of nationality?


“How is it possible that I do not understand the love in your heart.”

Whose sigh interrupted
Our chat?

Our mother tongue
endured, like a small and weak organism –

Tibet, Tibet … …
A monk hurriedly returns to his residence

– What is he frightened of?


A spirit of compassion
Living desperately

That illiterate pregnant girl
Once in a while told me using her eyes –

“I also live in desperation”

At this point,
A quiet dark sky
I actually have nothing to say


“Are you still OK?
At a dead end, I returned to Tibet
Needed again to unload the weight of my body.”
Suddenly wanted to ask you this

“What is Tibet?”
A government website told me
It’s the end of the railway line – the “Qinghai-Tibet railway”
(Launched at 9:00 on July 1, 2006, 1,142 km in length)
It’s the end of a highway –
Qinghai – Tibet highway (1214 km in length)
Xinjiang – Tibet highway (2841 km in length)
Sichuan – Tibet highway (Northern side 2412 km in length, Southern side 2149 km in length)
Yunnan – Tibet highway (714 km in length)
China – Nepal highway (2415 km in length)

What is Tibet?
It’s mineral resources:
At present, 101 kinds of mineral resources have already been discovered, 41 kinds of mineral resources have been identified, not withstanding the 100 reserves under exploration, not withstanding  2,000 mining points, 22 mines have been opened up for development. Tibet’s dominant minerals are, copper, chromium, boron, lithium, lead, zinc, gold, antimony, iron, and geothermal, mineral water etc, some minerals in the country account for an important position, mineral resources with the potential value of more than a trillion yuan. Reserves of mineral resources ranking top 5 are chromium, craft crystals, corundum, high-temperature geothermal, copper, clay, magnesite, boron, natural sulphur, mica, arsenic, and 12 other kinds of mineral water. There are also good prospects for oil at present.

What is Tibet?
The holy land of tourism
Because going to Tibet is also a kind
of trend.

What is Tibet?
“Tibet is home of different ethnic groups.”

What is Tibet?
It is “Three Valleys in Ngari, the West”
“Four Rivers in U-Tsang, the Center,”
“Six Mountain Ranges in Dokham, the East”

What is Tibet?

Can I lose hope?


“I’m waiting for someone.”

“It’s you!”
Why don’t you remove the shadow you have shouldered for a lifetime
Before that, I promised
To help you to sign your name in the rectangle characters,
Return trip to the hometown
Afterwards, go to see the cold monastery that looks like
ruins. A monk
One matchstick

The tears on
Your cheek turn to ice.


“Posters are everywhere in the city
Slogans are as numerous as sesame seeds
Like what a friend of mine said:
“Judgment day is this day, it’s actually every day.”
Obviously this belongs to
A typical discourse of violence
But for those who know the inside story
This is a warning; It is an account made within the bounds
permitted by the power

We have been constantly been in compliance
But the days are increasingly paling into insignificance
Losing meaning

“Am I still that Tibetan who hides the prayer beads in his heart?
A deep sense of shame! ”


“The real Tibet is like a slabstone,
Overwhelms me and makes me breathless. ”

I can only while myself away, in order to live in a little dignity.


“Those of us in Tibet
will we become refugees?”

(c) Gade Tsering / August 9, 2009

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Een Kommentaar op “Louis Esterhuizen. Tibetaanse selfdood by wyse van protes”

  1. Do u hear the people sing?