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The Final Throes of Death

posted Mar 31, 2011, 5:31 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
By Yangkyab Gyal

(Translated by Dhondup Tashi Rekjong)

We had made meat momo and vegetable momo. The sun had almost set. As usual, it took a few hours to make the momos, but it can’t be longer than an hour to finish them. We raised our glasses and downed them. We only had our old talks; life in exile, jobs in America, and the loneliness in foreign countries. We talked mostly about the problems, but in between, we brought the Tibetan issue into our conversation.

Genla seemed drunk, but his eyes were still very active and alert. 

“If the majority of the Tibetans choose the middle way, from that day I will leave Tibet,” Genla said. 

“Where would you go?” we asked.  

“Any country is fine but I would not live in Tibet,” Genla again insisted.

“Why?” We pressed for more. 

He said, “We, Tibetans living in Tibet, know the Chinese very well because we have tried to adapt to Chinese, but we are suppressed by China. You might have banged your nose once, but we have banged our noses many times. We have experienced and faced more hardships than you. If Tibetans live under China, sooner or later, the Tibetan issue will surely die. Understood? "

"But His Holiness the Dalai Lama tries...?"

"Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama should…”

Our conversation was left hanging for a while; we were silent.  It was dark outside. We could hear the sound of either a frog or some insects, “Tsir, Tsir, Tsir, Tsir …”

Since 2008, there have been big changes. “He is Chinese; I am Tibetan.” “Tibetans are happy in Tibet; Chinese are happy in China.” Both Chinese and Tibetans have this distinct view and stand.

One of my friends said, “A few years ago, it was possible to rent any hotel room if a high Tibetan official went to Beijing. But after 2008, the situation has changed. You will be harassed with many questions: On your document your name is too long, Are you Tibetan? At the end, Tibetans can only find Tibetan hotels in Beijing to stay in. Therefore, Tibetans started to feel differently.”

This summer, I met a friend from Tibet at the International Tibetan Studies Conference in Toronto. He told me, “We went to tour several countries in the west. We were fifteen people; two Tibetans and thirteen Chinese. Overall, we had a great time on our tour. When we went back to China, I and my friend were stopped at the airport because of our Tibetan names. If it says Tashi Tsering, there are four syllables.  If it says Ma Zhe Lan, there are three syllables.  Therefore, we were asked to take out all our items and we were stuck there for almost two hours. If you are Tibetan, then there is no hope for the Tibetan issue unless you do something by yourself.”

All this is not anti-China or anti-Chinese; this is simply the result of Great China’s oppression on Little Tibet. Tibetans are tired of smiling while they are being stabbed in the heart. All Tibetans in the whole of Tibetan feel the same way, and 97% of Tibetans live under this situation.

A memory comes to my mind; a fisherman had caught a fish and he threw it in a big basket on the boat. The small fish tried to jump, tried to open its eyes, but it couldn’t jump out of the basket. That scene was the last sign of death, the final throes of death.

“Key 3%, hello, 3%.”

(The article was originally published in Tibetan on