Both sides of the story

SINO-TIBETAN RELATIONS: PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE –

THE POTOMAC CONFERENCE, October 5-6, 1992
PHUNTSOK TASHI TAKLHA

After signing the Agreement, a letter signed by Kalon Ngapo was handed over to Premier Chou En-lai. In the letter, Kalon Ngapo requested that other Tibetan areas incorporated into other Chinese provinces be returned to Tibet and put them under the Lhasa Tibetan Administration….Ngapo, the head of the Tibetan delegati…on, did not affix his official seal of the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) on the “agreement” paper, although he had brought it with him. The Chinese side, therefore, forged duplicate Tibetan seals in Peking. They made five identical seals for each of the Tibetan delegation members with their names on them. These seals were then stamped on what became to be known as the “Seventeen-Point Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.”…the head of the Chinese delegation, Li Wui Han, reacted by threatening the Tibetan delegation whether they wanted a peaceful or a violent “liberation” of Tibet. He said, “If you want a peaceful `liberation,’ then you must agree to our proposal. But if you want a violent `liberation,’ then all Peking had to do was to send a telegram to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stationed in occupied areas of Tibet. We have no problem.” Read more...


Ngabo Ngawang Jigme (1910 – 2009)

When the Lhasa uprising occurred in 1959, Ngabo initially tried to mediate between the Tibetan government and the Chinese, but in the end he continued to support the PRC: after retaking Lhasa, it was his voice that the PLA played over their loudspeakers urging the people to lay down their arms to avoid the destruction of the city. Although he might never have been powerful enough to formulate policy himself, Ngabo was never purged and continued to hold official positions, including two terms as chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the 1960s and the 1980s. Read more….

Ngapo and the Cultural Revolution

Another day we were called to the main headquarters of the TAR to manage the crowd. Thousands of people were shouting: “Down with Ngapo Jigme, let him be killed”. When we went there, we saw Ngapo in his military uniform; he was lead by some Chinese soldiers. He was brought on the stage and before making his confession, he took out the five stars out of his uniform and put them into his pocket and said: “For years and years my family had been exploiting the Tibetan people, and we will not able to get rid of this [sin] forever.” He just said that and he was quickly taken away by the PLA soldiers. Read more…


Interview with Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme

His third son, Ngapo Jigme, defected 13 years ago and now lives in Washington where he worked for the Free Tibet Campaign and now heads the Tibet section of Radio Free Asia. “In fact the Chinese government has never trusted him. My father has been a figurehead. He never really had any power,” Ngapo Jigme said and he adds that despite their differences, his father has tried his best for Tibet. “When things go wrong, people always look for a scapegoat but it is more complicated than that,” the son said. Read more….


Kasur Ngapo Ngawang Jigme and his Autobiography

It seems Kasur Ngapo has been working on his autobiography although its status is not clear now. Such an autobiography would be useful in enabling us to understand his views. More importantly, it would have an impact on how history will see Kasur Ngapo. It could be that the reason for not hearing about his autobiography is… because it is being screened by the Chinese Government. If this is so, I would feel that it is not only morally just for an individual to be responsible for his autobiography but this is essential for the credibility of the book once it is published. If the authorities were to interfere in an individual’s autobiography it will not be beneficial to the authorities themselves in the long run.  Read More…

Ngapo Ngawang Jigme – a profile

“It is because of the special situation in Tibet that in 1951 the Seventeen Point Agreement on the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, between the central people… See More’s government and the local Tibetan government, came about. Such an agreement has never existed between the central government and any other minority regions. We have to consider the special situation in Tibetan history while drafting policies for Tibet in order to realize its long-term stability. We must give Tibet more autonomous power than other minority regions. In my view, at present, Tibetan Autonomous Region has relatively less power of autonomy compared with other autonomous regions, let alone compared with provinces. Therefore Tibet must have some special treatment and have more autonomy like those special economic zones. We must employ special policies to resolve the special characteristics which have pertained throughout history.” Furthermore, in 1991, Kasur Ngapo asked the Chinese government to abide by the 17-Point Agreement, specifically the commitment “not to change the existing political system in Tibet.” Read more…

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