Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

'Central Tibetan administration' illegitimate

By Hua Zi (China Daily) Updated: 2012-03-29 08:06

Lobsang Sangay has had a hard time since he became the leader in April 2011 of the "central Tibetan administration", the new name adopted by the so-called government in exile, so he probably thought that the ridiculous speech he gave on March 10 would improve his image with his US backers.

This ambitious young man said something that the Dalai Lama dared not: "Blessed by the historic transfer of political power, appointed by the people, supported by Tibetans living in Tibet, I am proud to say the CTA has the legitimacy to represent 6 million Tibetan people and work for their interests."

Actually the CTA has no legitimacy at all.

By the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), the Tibetan and Han peoples had cemented political and kinship ties of unity and political friendship and formed close economic and cultural relations, laying a solid foundation for the ultimate founding of a unified nation. In the mid-13th century, Tibet was officially incorporated into the territory of China's Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Since then, Tibet has remained under the jurisdiction of the central government of China.

After the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, the Tibetan people became masters of the country under the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. They exercise the power of managing local affairs through the people's congresses at all levels.

General elections were first staged in Tibet in 1961 and the local people elect all the people's representatives at various levels in the region. The people's congress of the Tibet autonomous region and the people's government of the region enjoy all rights as the administrative organs of the region according to the relevant laws.

Since the establishment of the Tibet autonomous region, all eight chairmen of the regional people's government have been Tibetan and a large number of former serfs and slaves now have leadership positions in various levels of governments.

In contrast, the separatist clique escaped from Tibet and set up the so-called government in exile in Dharamshala, India, after the failure of the armed rebellion by some members of the Tibetan ruling class hostile to reform in 1959. Neither the Chinese central government, nor any other national government has recognized it as the legal representative of Tibet. Calling itself the central Tibetan administration does not alter this fact.

The CTA's new leader Lobsang Sangay could not have become the chief kalon without the support of people in the United States, who are eager to see the man they cultivated work for their interests.

The Dalai Lama openly doubted him at first and only started supporting him later as the Dalai Lama cannot afford to ignore the US. But Sangay, a Harvard graduate and former activist of the radical separatist organization Tibetan Youth Congress, lacks any understanding of the real national conditions of China and its Tibetan region. In his "inaugural speech" in 2011, he quoted and misinterpreted the Tang Dynasty tablet at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, to suggest that Tibet is independent from the central authority of China, when the inscription on the tablet actually emphasizes the importance of national unity and the Tibetan people's appreciation of the stability and peace produced by national unity.

The central government has tried its best to expostulate with the Dalai Lama and his clique about these historical truths, and has pointed out that the prosperity and stability Tibet enjoys today is the result of the joint efforts and unity of all ethnic groups in China.

Any attempt to separate Tibet from China and harm the country's national interests goes against the interests of Tibetan people. Depending on foreigners for survival while proclaiming to represent all Tibetan people is not the right way to create a better future of Tibet.

The author is a researcher with the China Tibetology Research Center.

(China Daily 03/29/2012 page8)

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