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30 March 2013 003Dharamshala: A statue of Jampel Yeshi was unveiled by the Tibetan Youth Congress on March 28, at Lhagyal Ri, Dharamshala, to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

Yeshi’s statue has been installed to remember and honour his sacrifice for the Tibetan cause. It has been placed next to Thupten Ngodup’s, who was the first Tibetan in exile to self immolate on April 27, 1998 in Delhi.

Jampel Yeshi self immolated last year on March 26, the day before the then Chinese President Hu Jintaos was due to attend the 4th BRICS Summit in New Delhi, in protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Suffering 98 per cent burn, Yeshi, who was 26 passed away in the morning of March 28 became the second Tibetan in exile to die from self immolation.

 “As a Tibetan, he thought that his country was taken away from him, and he has no other way to resist except to sacrifice his life,” said former political prisoner Palden Gyatso, who was the chief guest for the occasion.

Yeshi’s last message is printed on a plaque below the statue, below in the English translation of this statement:

1. Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is the shining example of world peace. We must strive to ensure return of His Holiness to Tibet. I pray and believe that the Tibetan people in and outside Tibet will be united and sing the Tibetan national anthem in front of the Potala Palace.

2. My fellow Tibetans, when we think about our future happiness and path, we need loyalty. It is the life-soul of a people. It is the spirit to find truth. It is the guide leading to happiness. My fellow Tibetans, if you want equality and happiness as the rest of the world, you must hold onto this word ‘LOYALTY' towards your country. Loyalty is the wisdom to know truth from falsehood. You must work hard in all your endeavours, big or small.

3. Freedom is the basis of happiness for all living beings. Without freedom, six million Tibetans are like a butter lamp in the wind, without direction. My fellow Tibetans from three Provinces, it is clear to us all that if we unitedly put our strength together, there will be result. So, don't be disheartened.

4. What I want to convey here is the concern of the six million Tibetans. At a time when we are making our final move toward our goal - if you have money, it is the time to spend it; if you are educated it is the time to produce results; if you have control over your life, I think the day has come to sacrifice your life. The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering, and to tell the world about the denial of basic human rights. If you have any empathy, stand up for the Tibetan people.

5. We demand freedom to practice our religion and culture. We demand freedom to use our language. We demand the same right as other people living elsewhere in the world. People of the world, stand up for Tibet. Tibet belongs to Tibetans. Victory to Tibet!

Attended by Hundreds of Tibetans and leaders of various organisations, who offered scarves at Yeshi’s statue the occasion was intensely moving. Many Tibetans, including Lhasang Tsering, former President of TYC, were choked with emotion.

Tsewang Rinzin, President of the Tibetan Youth Congress spoke at the event, “Jampel Yeshi and 113 other Tibetans in Tibet have self-immolated for the cause of Tibet and Tibetans, and it is our responsibility to make sure that their sacrifices do not go in vain,”

Yeshi, who was born in Tibet, studied at the Tibetan Transit School and then later moved to Delhi.

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