In what is reported to be his last documented communication, Nyima Drakpa, the Tibetan monk who died on October 2, 2003, following torture in Chinese prison, has called for international attention to China’s cruel treatment of the Tibetan people.
Drakpa, a monk from Nyatso monastery in Tawu in eastern Tibet (currently under Sichuan Province), who was briefly in the re-established Ganden Monastery in South India in the 1990s before returning to Tibet, talks about the discrimination that the Tibetan people face in Tibet today, whether in the society itself or in the Chinese justice system.
Drakpa was arrested in 2000 for putting up posters calling for Tibetan independence and had been serving his sentence. On October 2, 2003, he died in the hospital where he had been moved to ten days earlier, according to the Tibet Information Network (TIN).
Drakpa’s communication was written in 2001 and addressed to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. It was released by a fellow monk from Ganden Monastery, in the wake of his passing away.
Following is the rough translation of the communication in Tibetan (a copy of which ICT received), based on the translation provided by TIN.
An Appeal from the Core of My Heart
To His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and all fellow Tibetan brethren,
I am a Tibetan youth from Tawu (Ch: Daofu) area of Kham region and my name is Keri Nyima Drakpa (sked ri’i nyima grags pa). Just as the saying, “Although small, a marmot has all his physical attributes complete”, although I am neither a great educated scholar nor a rich and powerful famous figure, I am someone with a boundless love and concern for my own people. I have been repeatedly analyzing the state of our people’s backwardness and the issue of the denial of human rights or political authority under the oppression of the ruling classes, to the extent that we don’t even have the right to use our own language.
At the same time, having studied and absorbed the glorious historical accounts of how our ancestors had exercised political authority and ruled the country, I made a firm resolution that, if necessary, I would definitely sacrifice my own life for the sake of my people. Thus, with unfeigned sincerity, wishing that my fellow Tibetan people could enjoy good freedom, and with the feeling of how wonderful it would be if a Tibetan nation could be established, I wrote many posters demanding that, ” All Chinese return to your hometowns and allow Tibet to be independent.” I put them up on the corner and walls of the District Government buildings on January 7, 2000, April 9, 1998, November 10, 1999, November 12, 1999, November 19, 1999, December 6, 1999 and December 29, 1999. At the end of each poster I wrote my name clearly.
However, unfortunate that I am, before I had managed to accomplish a single objective, my life was at the hands of the cruel and repressive Chinese.
Last year, on March 22, when I was in Lhasa, four members of the Tawu Public Security Bureau officers arrived and arrested me immediately. Then, without even asking me a single question, they began beating me in the way a drum is beaten and rendered me incapable of uttering a word. Thereafter, without giving me even a morsel of food or a drop of water, I was put on a plane and taken to Chengdu.
Upon arrival in Chengdu, they let a few Chinese security bureau cadres beat me up. Those reincarnations of the black devil himself, in the form of Chinese cadres, pinned me down and beat me so mercilessly that I was neither dead nor alive. At that time, I became unconscious involuntarily. When I regained consciousness, it was around eleven at night. My entire body hurt with excruciating pain and it was impossible to move properly. In particular, I realized that both my legs had turned numb and were devoid of any sensation.
Ten days after we had arrived in Tawu, they started interrogating me. Despite the intense and excruciating pain all over my body, although unfortunate that I was, I managed to tell them exactly everything that I deeply believe and feel in my heart, and acknowledged that I had written all those posters.
Therefore, last year on October 5, the Court in Karze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, sentenced me to a prison term of nine years. However, I’m now in such a decrepit state that I cannot eat even a morsel of food, and my legs, too, are rendered lame by the cruel Chinese. As such, I know that I will die before long. I am certainly not afraid of dying.
Whether it is relayed to my maternal uncle, Jowo Kyab, or to my fellow Tibetans who cherish and have pride in their people, as this ruddy-faced Tibetan’s life is about to end, my appeal is to ensure that through the good offices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the issue of China’s bullying tactic on the Tibetan people, through cruel treatment of sentencing of people like me, is made widely known in the international community.
In addition, I appeal to my fellow Tibetan brethren with whom I share the same flesh and bone, you must know and understand the truth about how China mistreats us through unreserved bullying, illegal and immoral actions. We must unite at all costs and rise up against China.
Keri Nyima Drakpa
April 1, 2001