By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 23: Lukar Jam, a former Tibetan political prisoner and a prominent advocate of Tibetan independence, who has been in the middle of controversy of late due to one of his Facebook posts, has found his car smashed this morning, leaving his family feeling threatened by anti-social elements in the Tibetan community.
The front windshield and two side windows of Lukar’s Mahindra car parked outside his rented room near Norbulingka Institute at Sidhpur were smashed by unknown miscreants last night, according to a written complaint the victim and his wife lodged at the local police station along with pictures of the smashed car to substantiate the complaint.
Lukar learnt of his smashed car early morning when his neighbours alerted him. Lukar and his family have been threatened twice in the past with warnings of physical harm after a writing of his has been interpreted as malicious in the Tibetan community. According to the police complaint, the victim suspects that his car was smashed by some anti-social elements in the Tibetan community.
The local police have visited the site of Lukar’s vandalized car and further investigations are on.
“The matter is now a police case. The police are investigating it and the law of the land will take its own course. We briefed Lukar’s wife on taking precautionary measures such as being vigilant and avoiding late commuting,” Karma Rinchen, Additional Secretary of the Department of Security, CTA told Tibet Express.
The Tibetan administration’s Department of Security, the SHO Dharamsala police station and Intelligence Bureau, Kangra were each send a copy of the police complaint report.
Much was said and written about Lukar in retaliation against a eulogy he posted on his Facebook account after the demise of noted American Tibetologist and a prominent supporter of Tibetan independence, Professor Elliot Sperling.
Lukars post, in which he wrote, ‘You are the one who should have lived for 113 years’ induced a flurry of comments, discussions and debates on social networking sites from Tibetan netizens. While some disagreed and condemned the former political prisoner for his post which they perceived as a sarcastic take at the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s prophecy that he will live for 113 years, others defended his fundamental right to express his views freely.
Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the political head of the Tibetan administration said Lukar’s post was an unnecessary jibe at the Tibetan spiritual leader which he said is something adversaries will rejoice at as it paves way for discord in the Tibetan community.
During the course of the 3rd session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament, Sikyong Sangay as well as a number of Tibetan parliamentarians raised their opposition to Lukar’s post, calling it a misuse of free speech.
In an open letter, a group of concerned Tibetan students/researchers called the social ostracization campaign against Lukar as a morally unjustifiable act which will most likely culminate in destructive repercussions.
A concerned US based Tibetan named Sonam even wrote an open letter to Sikyong on Mr Lukar Jam’s security.
After his Facebook post had led to heated discussions on social networking sites, Lukar, in a Facebook live video post, clarified that he did not intend to take a jibe at His Holiness as stated by a certain section of the Tibetan community. He said he was just using his artistic expression as a writer to draw the attention of his readers, which he said is practiced by writers across the world.