Thirty-three year-old Kalkyi
Most of us, if we have any recall of horrific Buddhist self-immolation, associate that so-final, next-to-hopeless protest against abiding social injustice with South Vietnamese monks. In the 1960s, this exquisitely painful act of defiance was directed at us, a flame-and-flesh wrapped message to us, the invaders. Now, in Tibet, the pace of self-immolation-as-protest has quickened, 120 or so over the past half-decade, directed against a six-decades old invader, China.
Kalkyi was among 110 Tibetans who have died at their own hands through self-immolation in the past few years protesting Peking's autocratic rule of Tibet and its lead-footed -- the Chinese call it 'oversight' -- suppression of Buddhist religious activity. While it's clear-as-a-bell that any enormous global power -- and the People's Republic is that -- believing it must monitor-to-extinction people as peaceful and insular as Tibet's Buddhists is, at its core, insecure, the real horror here is that this goes on with only sporadic, passive notice in the world press and in other powerful international capitals.
What do Buddhists want? Only that China leave Tibet sixty years after its invasion....Tibet: hardly a strategic outpost for the People's Liberation Army -- and that the Dalai Lama return to his homeland.
June, 1963, South Vietnam