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Today’s Lesson in Party History (via Woeser)

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Saturday, Jan 19, 2013
4 Comments

In her most recent post, describing the self-immolation of Tshe-ring phun-tshogs, from Rka-khog in Rnga-ba, Woeser brings up a bit of hallowed CCP history. I thought one of her observations—brief, bitter and biting—merited the particular attention of readers:

Tshe-ring Phun-tshogs was a nomad from Rka-khog (the present-day Hongyuan County located in Rnga-ba Pefecture, Sichuan Province) in Amdo… This is a purely nomadic area. In 1960 it was renamed “Hongyuan” (“Red Steppe”) by Zhou Enlai, in order to commemorate the year in which the Red Army crossed the grasslands. During the Long March, when the Red Army traversed the Snowy Mountains and crossed the grasslands, on their route through Tibetan areas such as Amdo, Rgyal-rong, and Khams, etc., they were dependent on cheating and robbing the Tibetans, even to the point of using force and spilling blood. In 1936 Mao Zedong told Edgar Snow: “This is our only foreign debt, and some day we must pay the ‘Mantzu’ and the Tibetans for the provisions we were obliged to take from them.” And how, exactly, did the Communist Party pay its debt to the “Mantzu and Tibetans”? In the 1950s many of the tribes in this Tibetan area were practically wiped out; and today the area has the highest number of Tibetan self-immolations!

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4 Comments »

  • avatar Weimin Rose says:

    The author of this description on the pillages and deceits foisted upon the Tibetan communities by the Red Army in Amdo during the “long march” period is not Woeser. It is based on the research done by Li Jiang Lin in her new book When Iron Birds Fly in the Sky(Taipei, Taiwan, 2012), page 63 to 67. To attribute it to Woeser’s interpretation or study of this period would not be correct and I suppose Woeser herself wouldn’t claim such a credit. Obviously our venerable professor has not done his homework.

  • avatar lhasa-lhasa says:

    “The Used Geta Rinpoche”
    By Woeser
    http://highpeakspureearth.com/2012/the-used-geta-rinpoche-by-woeser/

    …In actual fact, during its 12,500 km Long March, regardless of whether they passed by Chinese, Tibetan, or other minority areas, from the facts that have been revealed today, we know that the Red Army’s journey was one of empty promises and swindle.

    The Tibetans had to pay for the assistance to “revive Tibet and extinguish Chiang Kai-shek” and to establish an independent political entity. According to Party documents, during the 16 months before and after the Red Army passed through Ngaba Prefecture, the Gyarong Government had to provide 5 million kilos of staple foods as well as 100,000 cows, sheep, horses, pigs and other livestock; when the Red Army passed through the northern Kham region, the Bopa Government had to provide 2.25 million kilos of staple foods. After the Red Army had firmly settled in Yan’an, Mao Zedong said to the American journalist Edgar Snow: “the Red Army’s only external debt is that it took away the food from the outer ethnic minorities and now owes them, one day, we must repay this debt.” But what does this “external debt” mean? Does this not refer to owing a foreign country? It shows that at the time, Mao Zedong did not consider Tibet a part of China…..

    September 28, 2011, Lhasa

  • avatar Elliot Sperling says:

    I’m not sure what is implied here. I noted that the entire paragraph that I cited was taken from a blog post by Woeser. However her description of the Red Army’s behavior during the Long March is taken from Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China. Woeser specifically mentions him and her use of his account is obvious in the section quoted. Moreover, the source for the observation about the Red Army (Snow’s book) and the observation itself are quite well known… I myself cited Snow’s account (including his reference to the Red Army waging war on local Tibetans and to Mao’s mention of the “foreign debt”) in an article on the Long March published ages ago in Tibetan Review. I really don’t understand how this can in any way suggest uncredited use of research contained in Li Jianglin’s new book.

  • avatar lhasa-lhasa says:

    “The Used Geta Rinpoche”
    By Woeser

    September 28, 2011, Lhasa

    http://highpeakspureearth.com/2012/the-used-geta-rinpoche-by-woeser/

    …In actual fact, during its 12,500 km Long March, regardless of whether they passed by Chinese, Tibetan, or other minority areas, from the facts that have been revealed today, we know that the Red Army’s journey was one of empty promises and swindle.

    The Tibetans had to pay for the assistance to “revive Tibet and extinguish Chiang Kai-shek” and to establish an independent political entity. According to Party documents, during the 16 months before and after the Red Army passed through Ngaba Prefecture, the Gyarong Government had to provide 5 million kilos of staple foods as well as 100,000 cows, sheep, horses, pigs and other livestock; when the Red Army passed through the northern Kham region, the Bopa Government had to provide 2.25 million kilos of staple foods. After the Red Army had firmly settled in Yan’an, Mao Zedong said to the American journalist Edgar Snow: “the Red Army’s only external debt is that it took away the food from the outer ethnic minorities and now owes them, one day, we must repay this debt.” But what does this “external debt” mean? Does this not refer to owing a foreign country? It shows that at the time, Mao Zedong did not consider Tibet a part of China…..

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