Martyr Choeying’s parents urge Tibetan youths not to self-immolate

Tenzin Choeyang.
Tenzin Choeyang.

(, Jul26, 2017) – As Tibetans paid their last respects to Tenzin Choeying, a 19-year-old third-year student who immolated himself in the Central University of Tibetan Studies at Varanasi on Jul 14 in protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet, his parents have called for refrain from such type of protest action. Choeying was airlifted from Varanasi to Safdarjang Hospital in New Delhi for specialist treatment on Jul 20 but succumbed to his burns in the evening of Jul 22. His body was then brought to Dharamshala to enable Tibetans to pay their last respects and for his cremation services.

Choeying’s father Ngawang Khedup told the gathering that all Tibetans, young or old, have a collective responsibility to fight for the Tibetan cause. And he urged the younger generation to carry on the fight by educating themselves thoroughly. He said the loss of even one Tibetan life was a grave misfortune.

Choeying’s mother Tashi Yangzom said pretty much the same thing. She urged the younger generation of Tibetans to refrain from harming themselves. She stressed the importance of preserving Tibetan cultural heritage and language, a demand voiced by her deceased son.

Choeying had told his mother when he came home during the last winter vacation that he would not be coming during next year’s vacation as he had some important work to do for Tibet and asked whether it was okay. Having no inkling of what he was up to, Yangzom had said she readily agreed while telling him it was important for him to study hard for his country and people.

His father too said that he thought his son was joking when he said he had left some clothes for his parents to wear to thank them.

Choeying’s body was brought up and kept in the office of the Tibetan Youth Congress, of which he was an active member, ahead of his cremation on Jul 26. The Tibetan Youth Congress campaigns for the restoration of Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule.

Hundreds of Tibetans lined up since early morning to pay their respects to the latest addition to their rank of martyrs.

The president of the Central Tibetan Administration, Lobsang Sangay, was among those who paid their last respects to Choeying.


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