Dharamshala — Tibetans in Dharamshala braved the monsoon rain this morning to pay respect to martyred youth Tenzin Choeying's body, a 19 year old who set himself on fire protesting Chinese occupation of Tibet on July 14th.
His body, along with his parents, were invited to Dharamshala by the Tibetan Youth Congress, who held a press conference this morning. Youth Congress member Tenzin Sichoe introduced his parents and thanked them for coming. Addressing the conference, Tenzin Choeying's mother, Tashi Yangzom, said, "This year when he came home for his two month holiday from school, he said to me, 'mom, next year during holiday I won't be coming home. I have some important work for Tibet, is that okay?' I said, of course. It is important to study hard for your country and your people."
Tenzin Choeying's father, Ngawang Khedrup, said, "When he said that he had left some clothes for us to wear to thank us [his parents], I thought he was joking. I realize now it was a testament. It's always heartbreaking for parents, to lose a child in the midst of their studies, but if we think broadly, to give a sacrifice to your country, your people, your language, that is something parents can be proud of... But, as for the future generation, I urge them to continue fighting for Tibetan cause by educating themselves thoroughly because it is unfortunate to lose even a single Tibetan life."
Several verses of Tenzin Choeying's own writing was given to The Tibet Post by his relatives, short poems with titles like, 'My Parents,' 'Tibet,' 'Future Life,' and untitled pieces, two of which have English translations provided below.
Hundreds of locals lined the streets in the early morning to pay respect to the young martyr and lay a traditional Tibetan scarf on his body.
Tenzin Choeying set himself on fire on July 14, 2017 at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Varanasi. Eyewitnesses said that he shouted 'victory to Tibet' before running out, dousing himself with kerosene and setting himself on fire. After nine days, he succumbed to his injuries and passed away on July 22nd.
My Parents// From when I was a young boy// A guardian of compassion// Thank you my gracious parents// I will never forget you.
Tibet// Who will keep Tibetan traditions if not Tibetans// Who will keep Tibetan language if not Tibetans// Who will keep Tibetan society's culture if not Tibetans//If we keep our own culture, no one can harm it.
Note: The verses of poetry are translations of the Tibetan version by Tenzin Choeying. If there is any discrepancy between this and the Tibetan version, please treat the Tibetan version as authoritative and final.