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10:40 Apr 02 2009

Special ReportNetizen's VoiceMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Seven questions for the Dalai Lama (4)
17:05, March 27, 2009  

Fourth question: Whose "Shangri-La" was the old Tibet?

The Dalai Lama continued to brag that Tibet before Democratic Reform was a "free Tibet," a place filled with human rights, equality and freedom.

Zhang Yun, a research fellow at CTRC, said that the Dalai Clique is still praising the feudal serfdom, calling it a paradise where human beings lived in harmony with nature, beautifying the cruel oppression of serfs by serf owners as a cultural feature of Tibet, which is really a discountenance to history. "However, even the most exquisite lies cannot wipe out the dark memory of the old Tibet."

US Tibetologist Tom Grunfeld said that although some claim that before 1959 ordinary Tibetans could enjoy as much milk tea as they wished, a large amount of meat and a variety of vegetables, a 1940 survey conducted in eastern Tibet shows that 38 percent of families never had tea to drink, 51 percent could not afford ghee, and 75 percent sometimes had to eat weeds boiled with ox bones and oat or bean flour. "There is no evidence to show that Tibet was a utopian Shangri-La."

In sharp contrast to this, before the Democratic Reform in 1959, the Dalai Lama himself owned 160,000 liang (one liang is equal to 50 grams) of gold, 95 million liang of silver, over 20,000 pieces of jewelry and jade articles, and over 10,000 pieces of all kinds of silks, satins and precious fur coats. His family possessed 27 manors, 30 ranches and over 6,000 serf farmers and herdsmen.

All of the monasteries and noblemen of old Tibet had prisons or private prison cells where they could prepare their own instruments of torture and set up clandestine tribunals to punish serfs and slaves. Many handcuffs, fetters, staves and instruments for cruel torture including gouging out eyes and ripping out tendons were discovered in the Ganden Monastery. In the private monastery administration institution set up by Trijang Rinpoche, junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama, in Deqingzong, over 500 serfs and poverty-stricken monks had been beaten to death or injured. Also 121 people had been put in prison, 89 had been banished, 538 had been forced into slavery, 1,025 had been forced into exile and 484 women had been raped.

People were divided into three classes and nine grades by the old Tibetan code of law. The lives of the top class "were worth an amount of gold equivalent to the weight of their bodies," whereas the lives of the bottom class, "including women, vagabonds, blacksmiths and butchers," "were as cheap as a piece of straw rope." As the saying went in old Tibet, "there were three knives cutting into the serfs: endless toil, heavy taxation and high interest rates; three roads lay before the serfs: running away from famine, becoming a slave or begging." Former serfs have said, "With spring water dripping on them, rocks gather green moss over thousands of years; the tears rolling down our cheeks show that our hatred is as deep as the sea!" People cannot help but ask: Is this the "free Tibet" admired by the Dalai Lama?

V. Ovqinnikov, a senior commentator for Pravda, pointed out that "it is absolutely absurd and shameless" to describe the 14th Dalai Lama as "a protector of human rights," and that "the Dalai Lama should be held inescapably responsible for the inhumane and cruel feudal serfdom system."

By People's Daily Online

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