Dorje Tsering: Where We Failed Him

Dorje Tsering

»When a 16-year old Tibetan burns to death, it isn’t a noble sacrifice. It is suicide. My thoughts on self-immolations.« – Gelek Bhotay

»Finally, a thoughtful yet caring critique of Tibetan responses to immolations: @GelekB’s call to go beyond heroics.« – Robert Barnett

Drifts & Drafts

Dorje Tsering succumbed to his injuries on the third day of his stay in the hospital’s critical care unit.

He was 16 years old. He looked younger, much younger, than his age. In one of the more widely shared photos of his, on people’s Facebook posts and profile pictures, he is in a classroom. He is smiling, in a kindly way.

For most people, this is the only image with which they will identify with this young Tibetan boy in India: a sunny, cherubic face, nattily attired in his school uniform, caught as if in the midst of writing notes on his notebook. There is no sign or trace of the violent deed to come.

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