By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, March 1: In a shocking incident, a Tibetan boy aged 15 has self immolated in Herbertpur town near Dehradun, repeatedly shouting “Tibet is a free country” while engulfed in flames.
Dorjee Tsering set himself ablaze around 8:30 am yesterday (Feb. 29) at the Home for elderly in Doegu- Yugyalling Tibetan settlement in Herbertpur. He is currently undergoing critical treatment in the ICU ward of Safdurjung Hospital in New Delhi.
In a video circulating on social media sites, the boy barely conscious and badly burnt speaks of his intentions. “The reason I resort to burning myself like a choemey (Butter lamp) is because Tibet was occupied by China since 1959 and I have always felt like I needed to do something for the Tibetan cause. Yesterday, I felt as if burning myself up was the only resort left for me,” Dorjee says.
“This act I think will evoke shock from anyone who hears of it. People will think that a boy has burned himself for his country and it will create awareness. Countries like England, America and Africa (African nations) will know of Tibet and support for us will strengthen. Free Tibet and I pray that His Holiness lives for many thousand years. ”
Speaking to media, the boy’s mother said that she saw her son running and shouting while engulfed in flames and she dragged him underneath the tap to extinguish the flame. Bod-Kyi-Bus-Bab (Tibet times) reported her saying, “Last September, while talking on the phone he asked me if setting himself ablaze for the Tibetan cause would make me proud? I berated him to abandon such thoughts. I told him that there are many other ways to serve Tibet. I even threatened him to abandon such thoughts or else I would kill myself before. He later apologized and assured me he would not do such a thing. He had later asked his father the same thing. We never thought that a boy that young would actually do such a thing, we thought it was a spur of the moment thought and did not take it that seriously.”
At the hospital, he asked me to not look at his face,” said the bereaved yet proud mother of Dorjee.
Dorjee Tsering’s family hails from Manali and is currently a tenth standard student at Tibetan Homes Foundation in Mussoorie. He is the youngest among his five siblings.
Dorjee is said to be critical with 95% burns.
News Source: Phayul