Why Tibetans are Destroying Their Weapons

As China mobilizes for a “people’s war” against terrorism focused on Xinjiang, High Peaks Pure Earth translates a November 2013 blog post by Woeser on the decision by thousands of Tibetans to destroy their own knives and guns. She describes this as a commitment to non-violence inspired by Tibet’s now more than 120 self-immolators, and as a pre-emptive strike against any future efforts to extend the anti-terror campaign to Tibetan areas.

I have and always will believe in the Tibetan land, there are so many outstanding senior monks and lay people who are constantly thinking about the challenging situation and sinister fate of us only about 6 million Tibetans. In order to be saved from being assimilated or extinguished, countless Tibetans are resisting by means of various measures, self-immolation is among the most bitter and desperate one. The Chinese government, continually increasing its repression, criminalising the entire families of self-immolators and labelling their behaviour as “terrorism” will one day in the future defame the entire Tibetan people as “terrorists”, their attempts to fabricate this collective image will never stop. The goal is clearly to thoroughly reverse the image that Tibetans enjoy in the world of being a non-violent and peaceful people.

Through many years of cruel suffering, these outstanding senior monks and lay people are probably able to foresee this danger. Will today’s movement of throwing away and destroying knives that started in the Kham and Amdo regions not be a strong message to tell the world that Tibetan people will preserve their “non-violent” image by starting from personal sacrifices and will it not prove the attempt to label them as “violent” fruitless? […] [Source]

See more by and about Woeser, including her recent house arrest and a February profile from PRI’s The World, via CDT.

July 24, 2014 1:15 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society