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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tian Bao (Sangye Yeshi) - Obituary

February 27, 2008

BEIJING, Feb 27 (AP) — Tian Bao, who was one of the first Tibetans to
embrace communism and join Mao Zedong's revolutionary army, has died,
Chinese state television reported Tuesday. He was 92.

Tian died Thursday in Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province,
state-run CCTV said. It said he died from illness but gave no details.

Tian held senior government and party posts in Tibet and neighboring
Sichuan province after fighting during the Chinese civil war in the
ranks of Mao's army, which later seized control of Tibet.

He was one of the few Tibetans to participate in the communist army's
"Long March" to China's north to escape rival Nationalist troops. He
encountered Mao's army in 1935, when he was about 18, and joined up as
it retreated through western China.

Known in Tibetan as Sangye Yeshi, Tian was born in Kham, in the
eastern part of traditional Tibetan territory that is now part of
Sichuan. He held a series of senior posts, including being named
deputy secretary of the regional Communist Party in Tibet in 1965.

Chinese Communist troops occupied Tibet in 1951 and Beijing continues
to rule the region with a heavy hand. China claims Tibet has been its
territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say they were effectively
independent for most of that period.
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