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I am just one person. I have been posting news articles in this blog for 2 years, including my trip to Dharamsala in 2007. I find it hard to post reports on the Tibetan issue because I feel my view is not valid or taken into account. I am a Westerner and as such have no place getting involved in the affairs of Tibetans.

But, I just want to help. Tibet and her people are very close to my heart–for many, many reasons that go back to my childhood. Another part of this, is that I know what it’s like to be beaten and abused, I know what it’s like to be imprisoned, and I know what it’s like to lose my country.

But, I am just one person.

One small person who does what she can but whose actions change nothing. Sure, my videos are “nice” and “supportive” and my words are thrown out into the chasm of cyberspace, but I can change nothing.

And it frustrates me. Chinese people tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, Tibetan people tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about–because I’m foreign to their worlds.

Torture and suppression is the same the world over. I know what I’m talking about… and I want to help.

But, I’m just one person.

This blog has come to be my only avenue for spreading the word about Tibetan issues. I’ve been part of other movements, but they always contain too much ego. Too many “big men” looking for fame and risking the integrity of the cause. I don’t know what to do. I have no money. I have no skill other than compassion and a desire to right the wrongs.

I’ve taught myself some Tibetan, but I live far from any communities where I can offer even basic assistance. Part of me feels that I am not wanted in the cause–only my money is wanted. That’s harsh to say–but, when I’ve been told that I am the wrong ethnicity to “understand” how am I supposed to feel??

Do Tibetans really feel that way? That Westerners are not welcome in their fight? I know already how the Chinese feel about me from comments left on this blog and my youtube and facebook accounts as well as threatening emails and viruses sent to me.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ve got all of this wrong–but maybe I’m not welcome, and I’d rather know now….

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Chinese police today shot a burning Tibetan monk before they put him out, the Free Tibet campaign said.

The monk had set himself on fire in a protest over Tibetan new year rituals in Aba county, Sichuan province, the group said. The area saw some of the worst unrest during Tibetan protests last March.

Free Tibet said witnesses saw Tabe, a monk aged in his 20s, walking from Kirti monastery into town this afternoon. He was carrying a hand-drawn Tibetan flag with a picture of the Dalai Lama at its centre.

“He doused himself in petrol. The armed police could not get near him because he was burning,” said Matt Whitticase, a campaign spokesman. “Witnesses heard three gunshots fired. The monk fell to the ground and the police managed to put the flames out. He was immediately put into a van and taken to an undisclosed location. His present condition is unknown.”

The claims could not be confirmed independently, but Whitticase said the group had indirect accounts from three witnesses. Tibetans have been heavily punished for passing details of incidents to outsiders.

Free Tibet said up to 800 monks had reportedly gone to Tabe’s home village of Trinkin to say prayers, believing him to be dead.

The group said Tabe’s protest followed an attempt by almost 1,000 monks at Kirte to use a prayer hall to observe the Monlam festival – part of Tibetan new year – despite being told not to do so. They were told to return to their rooms.

The authorities have been angered by some Tibetans deciding to boycott new year celebrations other than religious rituals as a mark of protest against Chinese rule.

Last year, Tibetan exile groups said police shot dead several protestors in Aba county. The campaigners released graphic photographs of bodies and the names of five alleged victims.

Chinese state media subsequently said that officers shot and wounded “rioters” in self-defence.

More than 100 monks from the Lutsang monastery in Qinghai province held a candlelit vigil and protest march on Wednesday, the US government-funded Radio Free Asia reported today.