The world can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that 119 Tibetans have chosen to sacrifice their lives by burning themselves to death as a way to call attention to the misery of the Tibetan people. Voice of America has recently released a new, one hour documentary that uncovers the reasons why Tibetans are going to such extreme measures. The film, Fire in the Land of Snow, combines smuggled videos, first-hand accounts and interviews. It provides an in-depth and comprehensive look at the recent history of Tibet and the powerful forces that lie at the heart of one of the largest waves of political self-immolations in history. In English.
Especially for Buddhists, it is important not to shy away from this disturbing tragedy by glibly blaming the Tibetan’s bad karma. Of course, karma is the underlying cause for the current crisis, however, does not mean that we should not do anything. To remain silent is to support the Chinese government’s policy of cultural genocide in Tibet. I believe that there is room for creative, intelligent, non-violent actions particularly on the part of the international community that can change the situation in Tibet for the better. Each small, individual act we take with a pure motivation will accumulate and turn the tide.
A good starting point is to watch the VOA documentary and get educated.