(TibetanReview.net, Mar 24, 2009) — China on Mar 23 published a China Daily newspaper commentary supposedly written by the Panchen Lama chosen by it, Gyaltsen Norbu, exalting its rule in Tibet and contending that the essence of Buddhism, for Tibetans, is to love the communist government of China. Calling himself a descendant of the suppressed serfs in the old Tibet and, also, the legitimate heir to the 10th Panchen Lama, the Chinese imposed young Panchen had said he felt “exceptionally excited while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of a million serfs in the region”.
The commentary traces the all too familiar Chinese rendition of Tibet’s recent history of Chinese takeover in the name of liberation from a non-existent imperialism and serfdom.
In an obvious reference to the exile Tibetan government’s demand for real autonomy for Tibet, the commentary claimed: “Over the past 50 years, the Tibet autonomous region, in compliance with the country’s Law on the Autonomy of Ethnic Minorities, has exercised governance by itself and made outstanding achievements in preserving ethnic relics, developing local culture and safeguarding people’s freedom of religious belief.”
Although everything that had happened in Tibet since the founding of the PRC on Oct 1, 1949 had entirely been imposed by China through military occupation and repression, the commentary asked: “All people of various circles and ethnic groups should value more than ever the region’s hard-won achievements, uphold the leadership of the CPC and contribute more to national unity and the happiness of Tibetan people.”
The only content in the commentary which might be said to reflect the 10th Panchen Lama’s position on Tibet was: “Just as the 10th Panchen Lama put it, in our big and unified family of multiple ethnicities, anyone committed to loving and working for his or her own ethnic group should really be a patriot devoted to pursuing the benefit of his or her ethnic group.”
Of course, the Chinese government’s view of “pursuing the benefit of his or her ethnic group” would mean avoiding what it calls “local nationalism” which it condemns strongly.
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Also, the Chinese communist party mouthpiece People’s Daily Mar 24 carried an article under the name of the 99-year-old Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, a titular Vice-Chairman of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and former minister in the government of Tibet before its Chinese annexation.
Also written to eulogise China for the “Serfs Emancipation Day” of Mar 28, Xinhua Mar 24 quoted Ngapoi as having written: “The Tibetan people will realize a united, prosperous and harmonious society as long as they depend on the leadership of the Communist Party of China.”