18 Aprile 2013

The sacredness of death: a human right to fight for

On 13 February 2013, the twenty-two Drupchen Tsering set himself on fire near the stupa of Boudhanath (Kathmandu, Nepal) in protest against the Chinese occupation in Tibet. The young monk subsequently died in hospital for third-degree burns.

The news of his self-immolation was published on March 9 by the Administrative Office of the District of Kathmandu, but his family could not claim the body within the thirty five days required by the regulation, due to their obvious impossibility to leave Tibet. 

For this reason, the Nepalese government has taken legal custody of the body to bury it or to donate it to a school of medicine. These perspectives make one suspect of the existence of a designed network to deliver the body of the monk to the Chinese government so that it can destroy it secretly, as reported by the website "Students For a Free Tibet". 

Even if we gloss over the conspiracy theories, it remains clear that both the proposed solutions are against the Buddhist tradition which provides for the cremation of the body according to a specific ritual. And it is exactly to defend what the Buddhists consider as 'the most sacred and inviolable right' that members of the "Students for a Free Tibet" have lobbied at Nepalese consulates of various countries (USA, Canada, India ...) so that the body of Drupchen Tsering could receive a funeral in accordance with his belief. And now they invite all of us to act and to persuade, through a phone call or an email, the Nepalese government to "do the right thing". 

But why do we speak about justice, about doing the right thing? Because the right to a burial that respects and reflects our values and our beliefs is deeply felt as an inalienable right. It has nothing to do with the specificity of the Buddhist ritual: whoever surrenders itself to its feeling, he will surely feel the sacredness of death, the sacredness that goes beyond any political or cultural divergence and which unites all human beings as such, because it does not identify a specific practice, but it is the origin of all practices. Precisely for this reason, depriving an individual of such a right is to be considered as a crime against humanity.

"The Nepalese government right now has an opportunity to prove that it is a democratic government that respects human rights,” said Lhamo Kyi, an organizer with Students for a Free Tibet in Toronto. “Nepal is stooping lower and lower in the world stage every day that they hold on to his body. In Nepalese culture, one’s body is highly respected after death, with religious rituals to ensure the proper passage into next life. We expect the same for Drupchen Tsering, a person who sacrificed his life for the cause of Tibetan freedom." 

Source: "Student for a Free Tibet

Translated from the original Italian version by Marianna Turriciano. 

To read more articles, please visit our Articles archive


There are no comments

Leave a comment:

Please login to leave a comment.
If you are not registred click here to register.
Facebook Twitter Youtube
Donate now