ABC Radio – 16 February 2012 – Vietnam’s highest-profile religious detainee has sent a letter to the Dalai Lama saying China’s crackdown on Tibetan areas is a challenge to all humanity.
The France-based International Buddhist Information Bureau says activist monk Thich Quang Do who is under house arrest at a monestry in Ho Chi Minh City smuggled out the letter supporting the Tibetan monks who have set themselve on fire.
He said there are moments when the ultimate gesture of offering one’s body as “a torch of compassion to dissipate darkness and ignorance, is the only possible recourse.”
So said he wholly supported the Tibetan people’s courageous struggle for survival, and shares their aspirations for the right to freedom.
“Your suffering is our suffering. Your struggle is our struggle,” he said.
The self-immolations in Tibet and ethnically Tibetan parts of China pose a potentially destabilising challenge for China’s regional policies.
Beijing has branded those who set themselves alight as terrorists and stepped up security in the region.
At least 14 Tibetans are believed to have died from injuries due to self immolation.
Do’s letter referred to 21 cases of self-immolation in the past year.
Exiled Tibetans say they fear a crackdown in the region to coincide with the Tibetan new year on Feb. 22.
Do said 22 Vietnamese monks, nuns and lay persons had done the same since the Communist takeover of 1975 to appeal for religious freedom.