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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Ex-commander of old Tibet sees error of his ways

April 28, 2008

(China Daily)
2008-04-26

Lahlu Tsewang Dorje, a former vice-chairman of the Tibet autonomous
region's political consultative conference, was the commander in chief
of the Dalai Lama's army during the 1959 rebellion to separate Tibet
from China.

He was born into one of the most prominent families in old Tibet. There
have been two Dalai Lamas from Lahlu Tsewang Dorje's family.

He has witnessed the progress of Tibet from the old to the new, and in a
recent TV program spoke about his feelings about the March 14 riots in
Lhasa.

"The incident meticulously plotted by the Dalai clique was extremely
bad. They beat, smashed, looted and even burnt some people to death.
This has never happened before, and I am very indignant," he said.

On March 27, he and two other famous Tibetans published an article in
Tibet Daily titled "Fight against all splittists and splitting
activities from a firm standpoint and condemn the riots".

"I think the Dalai clique is our enemy and we should fight until the
end. Although I am old now, I'm still determined to make my
contribution," he said.

"The Dalai clique drew up a so-called constitution which stipulates that
the head of the state is the Dalai Lama. He has his own government
called Gexia, a complete systematic organization with sub-organizations
such as the Tibetan Youth Congress."

Lahlu Tsewang Dorje said he "was opposed to the conflicts between Han
and Tibetan ethnic groups and Hui and Tibetan ethnic groups", which
someone used as an excuse for the violent incidents in Lhasa.

"It is true that Tibetans and Hans were not in a very good relationship
before the liberation of Tibet, that is because rulers in the old days
discriminated against the Hans. Now it is totally different - there is
equality and harmony between the two groups. And that is why I am so
shocked at the riots aiming to sabotage this relationship."

Referring to monks that joined the attacking mobs, he said: "You cannot
criticize the central government on the issue of religious faith, you
are free to choose your own faith, whether to believe or not is your choice.

"You can be a monk today, and return to the secular world tomorrow. What
is more, monks are taught to behave with kindness that is the essence of
the faith."

He recalled his own experience that reflects the modern history of Tibet.

In October 1951, he took part in the welcoming ceremony of People's
Liberation Army held by the Tibet local government in Lhasa after the
signing of the Agreement of the Central People's Government and the
Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of
Tibet (also known as the 17-Article Agreement).

"The army treated the Tibetan people so well that I found rumors about
them being horrible was an absolute lie," Lahlu Tsewang Dorje said.

However, he was afraid of the democratic reform of Tibet as his own
interests lay in the feudal serf system at the time.

In April 1956, the preparatory committee for the Tibet autonomous region
was set up and the central government decided to postpone democratic
reform until 1962, in consideration of the people of high status in
Tibet. However, the potential change to Tibetan society caused panic
among some officials of the old government led by the Dalai Lama.

This led to the armed rebellion in 1959, in which Lahlu Tsewang Dorje
was arrested as the commander in chief of Tibetan army.

Under the care and education of the government, he realized he had been
wrong. In 1965, following his release, he voluntarily asked to farm in a
suburb of Lhasa.

He was elected as a member of the political consultative conference of
Tibet autonomous region and subsequently twice as the conference's chairman.
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