据报道，5月3号世界新闻自由日，国际笔会推出报告《当今中国的创造力与限制》（The PEN Report: Creativity and Constraint in Today’s China.）。这份评估中国言论自由状况的报告历时五年完成，记录了2008年以来中国不断升级的迫害事件，包括西藏、新疆、蒙古等地一百多位遭受关押、迫害和流亡作家的故事，其中40位作家和记者仍被关押。报告包含了十位中国异议作家的文章，描述在严格审查的重压下的生活，包括余杰、縢彪、唯色、廖亦武、刘迪、野渡、慕容雪村、高瑜、沙叶新和戴晴。也记录了公众利用新科技逐步夺回话语权的转变。结尾向中国政府和美国政府提出建言。
这篇文章的英文译文，是由High Peaks Pure Earth/高峰净土网站翻译的。
Tibet: After the Beijing Olympics
I still remember that when the Olympics were being held in Beijing, a Buddhist gathering was cancelled in Tibet because some people were strongly against monks and worshippers assembling together. Many other folk customs were also called off, for example, farmers were not allowed to burn incense as a sacrifice to the mountain Gods at Qinghai Lake and the horse racing festival, a tradition in Kham, was also cancelled. Facing the vast and empty grasslands, a fierce-looking herdsman said in a melancholic voice: “the Olympics are a bit like our horse racing festival, maybe that’s why we don’t have our festival anymore.”
That time is not far away from us, it seems like yesterday, still vivid in our minds. Yet, just as I wrote in my book “Tibet: 2008”: “there are many things that not many people know of. There are many facts that not many people are clear about. News from the Kham region said that in some remote places, war-like massacres occurred.”
How can one express Tibet’s calamity and suffering in only a few written words? For example, over the past few years, so many outstanding Tibetan people, one after the other, have suddenly and in a barbarous way been taken away by the country’s machinery from their homes, their monasteries, their workplace or from somewhere we don’t know. We do not have access to the exact number of people unless we belong to the national autocracy, to one of the many regional police forces or to the prison guards.
A vast number of Tibetans have disappeared without a word. The situation resembles the Yushu Earthquake in 2009; it caused over 10,000 victims but the official figure announced by the authorities only accounted for 2698 people. If for a natural disaster the official figures of life and death are being scaled down to such a large degree, it is easy to imagine what is being done with figures of victims of political calamities!
As a result, in the flames interweaving desperation and hope, one Tibetan after the other has self-immolated. Between February 2009, when the self-immolations first started in Ngaba Prefecture, Amdo, and May 27, 2012, when two self-immolations took place in front of Lhasa’s most sacred Jokhang Temple, already 40 Tibetans have self-immolated (including 37 from inside Tibet and 3 Tibetans abroad). During the first five months of 2012 alone, 24 cases of self-immolation have been counted.
Is it that Tibetans are irrational, that they have been manipulated, that they disrespect life and that they regard self-immolations as a means to increase their bargaining power? What one needs to know is that it is the autocrats, the evil government that are lacking any human traits, who have ignited the bodies of Buddhist monks and ordinary people! The words that some of the deceased spoke before they self-immolated, the suicide notes or recorded testaments that some left have all been found and made public. These are the most precious pieces of evidence, clearly explaining why these people decided to bathe their bodies in flames.
For example, the farmer that self-immolated in front of the township government in January 2012 left behind four suicide notes signed with “A person maintaining dignity”, recounting “…how can we trust a government that does not allow us to believe in our religion?” “when I think of the suffering that the entire Tibetan region and our Karma Monastery has gone through this year, I cannot wait and keep on living.”
For example, on August 1 this year in a remote county town-seat, Lama Sobha recorded his last words before sacrificing his life through self-immolation: “Just like Buddha who bravely sacrificed his body to feed the hungry tigress, all other Tibetans heroes who sacrificed their lives are like me, for the truth and freedom we choose our honour over our lives.”
For example, on April 19 this year, the two young people who self-immolated in the rural areas also recorded their last words: “We set ourselves on fire because of the pain of Tibetans having no basic human rights and to realise world peace, the pain of not enjoying any basic human rights is far greater than the pain of self-immolation.” Their voices sounded clear and fresh without any traces of fear.
There is a Tibetan metaphor: “the bone of heart” ( སྙིང་རུས།). Even though the manners and morals of time are changing and the power is ever more devastating, treating dignity with contempt, for today’s Tibetan people, “the bone of heart” can never be broken. The 40 self-immolators and many more Tibetans fighting for freedom are “the bone of heart”.
Beijing, May 29, 2012