Dalai Lama owned 6,000 serfs
Dalai family owned 6,000 serfs
Stockholm, March 20 -- How much property did the 14th Dalai Lama own before fleeing Tibet in 1959?
A great deal, according to a white paper titled Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet , recently published by the Information Office of the State Council. Following is an article published in the People's Daily Thursday in response to readers' inquiries:
In 1959, the Dalai Lama personally owned 160,000 liang (a Chinese weighing unit equal to 50 grams) of gold, 95 million liang of silver, more than 20,000 pieces of jewelry and jadeware, and more than 10,000 pieces of silk and satin fabric and rare fur clothing, including more than 100 robes inlaid with pearls and gems, each worth tens of thousands of yuan.
Before sweeping democratic reform was launched by the central government in 1959, Tibetan people had suffered under a system of feudal serfdom at the hands of religious-political rulers.
The serf-owner class, consisting of three major estate-holders - local administrative officials, aristocrats and upper-class monastery lamas - exerted extremely brutal political suppression and economic exploitation on the serfs and slaves.
About 90 percent of old Tibet's population was made up of serfs, called tralpa in Tibetan (namely, people who tilled plots of land assigned to them and had to provide corvee labor for their serf owners) and duiqoin (small households with chimneys emitting smoke). They had no means of production or personal freedom, and only lived on tilling plots for estate-holders for survival.
In addition, nangzan, about 5 percent of the old Tibet's population, were hereditary slaves regarded as "speaking tools."
Statistics released in the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in the 17th century indicate that Tibet then had more than 3 million mu of farmland, of which 30.9 percent was owned by the local feudal government, 29.6 percent by aristocrats, and 39.5 percent by monastery and upper-ranking lamas.
The monopoly of means of production by the three major estate-holders remained unchanged until the adoption of democratic reforms in 1959.
According to statistics, the family of the 14th Dalai Lama possessed 27 manors, 30 pastures and more than 6,000 serfs. About 33,000 ke (one ke equals 14 kilograms) of qingke (highland barley), 2,500 ke of butter, two million liang of Tibetan silver, 300 head of cattle, and 175 rolls of pulu (woolen fabric made in Tibet) were squeezed out of its serfs every year.
It is known that each Dalai Lama had two money-lending agencies. Some money from "tribute" to the Dalai Lama was lent at an exorbitant rate of interest.
According to incomplete records in the account books of the two agencies, they lent 3,038,581 liang of silver as principal in 1950, and collected 303,858 liang in interest the same year. Governments of various levels in the old Tibet also had many such agencies, and lending money and interest collection became a duty of local officials.
A survey made in 1959 showed that the three major monasteries, namely Drepung, Sera and Ganden, in Lhasa, lent a total of 22,725,822 kilograms of grain and collected 399,364 kilograms in interest.
Also, a total of 57,105,895 liang of silver was lent for 1,402,380-liang interest.
Relevant statistics show revenue gained from usurious loans made up 25 to 30 percent of the total incomes of the three monasteries.
<<Dalai family owned 6,000 serfs >>
The Communist Party owns 1,300,000,000 serfs.
"Freedom for China! Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:06 am GMT
The Communist Party owns 1,300,000,000 serfs. "
Tibet has more freedom under Communist rule than under Dalai Lama's reign!
ďTibet under the Dalai Lama was never the Shangri-la of popular romantic fantasies. Unless you want to call a place where 95 percent of the local people were serfs and household slaves, who could be sold, bought and bequeathed like commodities, paradise on earth anyway. Next time when the Dalai Lama talks of human rights in Tibet, ask him what it was like being a serf under his reign.
ďNext time when he preaches for Ďfreedomí, ask him what freedom the serfs and slaves enjoyed in the Ďgood old daysí "
All you people had heard enough from the so-called ethnic Tibetans who had never set foot in Tibet. Now letís hear from someone who are really from Tibet.The following is an essay published in a forum in Seattle. I canít find the original link so that I reproduce the original article here. If the author sees this and objects, please contact us.
An essay by a Tibetan.
During the past month, Iíve witnessed a lot protests here in U.S.and been told about riots back at my homeland. I think itís my duty to clear on some FACTS that are obviously and selectively omitted by the media and protesters.
1. His Holyness the Dalai Lama DOES NOT represent Tibet.Our Tibetan Buddhism has 4 schools:Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu. HH the Dalai Lama is ONE of the TWO most respected living budda of Gelug (Yellow Hat Sect), another one is Panchen Lama. HH the Dalai Lama can only represent farmers and town living Tibetans from North Central Tibet (Centered with City of Lhasa), which is about 20% of entire Tibetan population at the most. Entire South Central Tibet (Centered with City of Xigaze) worship Panchen Lama only, as well as we who are from Eastern Tibet only believe NyingMa Sect, the Red Hat.
2. Example: If the President of Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, fled to Europe after the Civil War was lost. Can he represent all Americans? I donít think so. He IS qualified to represent all the slave masters though.
3. Since 1980, We Tibetans have not paid ONE cent of Tax to the central government. We Tibetans have NOT paid ONE cent on fertilizer and seed. We have promotion access to housing, education,birth, employment and all kinds of other social benefits. The name of this promotion policy is called the Affirmative Act in the United States.I donít know what itís called in Tibet and honestly I didnít really care. Itís been there since I was born. When I realized that policy only applies to minority groups in China, I am already 13. I got 10 points raise on my average score when I graduated from elementary school. And I know my brother got 20 points when he graduated from high school. There are 10 Million high school graduates competing to get into college every year. Can you imagine how many advantages this 20 point can make?? BTW, I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters, and there goes so-called ďForced Birth Control among TibetansĒ.
4. Just like 95% of other Tibetans,my family was farmer-slaves before 1959. Weíve always been slaves till HH the Dalai Lama and his slavery government escaped from Tibet, along with most slave masters. Though the Chinese Army already stationed in Tibet in 1950,the reform, the abandon of slavery system was not carried out by central government. One story is that in 1954,Chinese Army was hiring in my village to help them building concrete roads. After they found out that their payments to the villagers are all robbed by slave masters, they were angry and started paying merchandise and goods directly,just to make sure the masters canít take them away. That was 4 years after Peopleís Liberation Army entered Tibet.
5. I am kinda tired telling these stories now. I donít know why the world outside Tibet had so many misleadings and understanding to our homeland. I really appreciate that you said you were speaking for Tibetans. But there are 3 million Tibetans living in Tibet now and you are only listening to those around HH the Dalai Lama??? Our living conditions are much better than those in exile and much much better than 50years ago. and none of these was the effort of exile Tibetan government, ZERO.We earned it by our sweat drops and promotion policies from central government.Not a living budda who was randomly picked by HH. And we want our life to be better and better. Talking about moral standards and religion freedom, we Red Hat Sect can practice all traditional customs everyday. I donít know what happened to Yellow Hat and I donít understand why they seem like the only trouled ones in Tibet and mostly I donít see how can HH the Dalai Lama become the Representative of Tibet?!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of millions of serfs and slaves in old Tibet, and the Tibetan regional legislature has endorsed a bill making March 28 the annual Serfs Emancipation Day in the region.
Tibet practiced feudal serfdom for hundreds of years, until 1959. The system, although depicted by some either with ulterior motives or without the slightest knowledge of the old Tibet as a "paradise on Earth", was dark and barbarous as proven by historical facts and documents, it said.
In his book The Unveiling of Lhasa, Edmund Candler, an India-based correspondent of the British newspaper Daily Mail, who entered Tibet with the British army in 1905, said Tibet was then under a feudal serfdom where peasants were slaves of the lamas. He even compared the Potala Palace, the residence of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, with the bloodiest medieval castles in Europe in the Middle Ages.
The Dalai Lama himself was the major representative of the theocratic system and the biggest serf owner in Tibet, Yi's article said.
Before 1959, the family of the 14th Dalai Lama possessed 27 manors, 30 pastures and more than 6,000 serfs. The family annually extracted about 33,000 ke (one ke equals 14 kg) of qingke (highland barley), 2,500 ke of butter and 2 million liang of silver (15 liang of silver equaled 1 silver dollar at the time) from its serfs. The article cited historical documents.
Although the central government was very prudent in the democratic reforms of Tibet in the 1950s, the Dalai Lama and his followers wanted their interests protected in every way. To that end, they staged a wide-ranging but failed armed rebellion in March 1959.
In the years since his flight, the Dalai Lama has praised theocratic serfdom on various occasions to win support from the Tibetans who fled with him, the article said. It cited the statement the Dalai Lama made on March 10 this year, in which he called the Tibet he used to rule, where cruel treatment of the serfs was written into the laws, as a "free" land.
"It seemed the theocratic feudal serf system had never existed," Yi's article said.
Even the self-claimed "democracy" of the "Tibetan government-in-exile" was odd, as the democracy belonged to the Dalai Lama alone, the article said.
It cited a 1963 document and a 1991 charter introduced by the Dalai Lama and his associates as examples.
In the 1963 document on Tibet's political system and constitution, the group stated that the major powers of the Tibet government would be in the charge of the Dalai Lama.
In 1991, the group adopted the Charter of Tibetans in-Exile, where it reiterated: "The executive power of the Tibetan Administration shall be vested in His Holiness, the Dalai Lama."
Nor would they relinquish the theocratic system, as the charter also stipulated that the Tibetan political system would be an integration of politics and religion, the article said.
In November last year, the Dalai Lama and his associates held a special meeting on Tibet's future amid intensifying internal conflicts, where they called for "all Tibetans" to respect and support any decisions made by the Dalai Lama at any time.
Yi also reminded readers that the government-in-exile's full name in English read: "Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama".
"Doesn't such a name lay bare what a thing the democracy claimed by the Dalai Lama is?" he asked.
Former serf writes: Dalai Lama "chief representative" of Tibetan serfdom
Raidi, a former Tibetan serf has called the Dalai Lama and his political backers the "chief representatives" of the theocratic, feudal serfdom of the old Tibet.
"They have confronted the fundamental interests of the mass of working people who make up the majority of the Tibetan population and they have irreconcilable contradictions with the requirements of social development and progress and the development trends of human society," said Raidi in an article.
His signed article, "The Great Milestone of Development and Progress in Tibet -- in Memory of the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reform in Tibet," will be published in full Thursday by the People's Daily. Excerpts will appear in or be broadcast by China National Radio and China Central Television, as well as major media in Tibet and Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, which have high concentrations of Tibetans in some areas.
In the article, Raidi hails the quelling of the rebellion by the "reactionary upper class clique of Tibet" by Tibetan people of different ethnic groups under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) 50 years ago.
"Democratic Reform was a great, decisive option that changed the fate of the Tibetan people, the watershed between the old and new histories of Tibet, a milestone in the world history of abolitionism, and a great contribution to the human rights cause in the world by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people," said the man who calls himself a witness to Democratic Reform in Tibet.
Raidi was born to a poor herding family in August 1938. In 1959, he was in the first group of Tibetans to study for four years in Beijing, where he and his classmates met the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
According to Raidi, in the old Tibet, officials, aristocrats and lamaseries monopolized the cultivated land and grassland and the majority of livestock, while serfs and slaves had no land.
Under theocratic rule, the religious upper class, which comprised the largest serf-owning group with 36.8 percent of the land, ruled the Tibetans politically, culturally and religiously. The old Tibetan law divided Tibetans into three categories and nine grades, under which serf-owners could lease, mortgage and sell their serfs.
In 1959, the central government launched Democratic Reform.
"Undoubtedly, once the Tibetan reactionaries dare to start a wide-ranging rebellion, the working people there will be liberated as early as possible," Raidi said, quoting Mao's prediction about the situation in Tibet a half century ago.
Democratic Reform made the mass of Tibetan serfs and slaves into the masters of Tibet, which, he said, was "a miracle in the entire history of the development of human society."
Starting in 1975, Raidi became a leading official of the Tibet Autonomous Region. In 2003, he was elected a vice chairman of the Tenth NPC Standing Committee.
The central authorities have always held important meetings whenever the situation in Tibet was at a critical juncture, Raidi said in his article. He referred to conferences and workshops held by the central authorities to study the situation and map out new guidelines and arrangements for the development and stability of Tibet.
In 1994, the central authorities worked out a policy directing central departments, large state-owned enterprises and other parts of China to give financial and personnel assistance to Tibet. So far, this policy has involved all seven prefectural cities and 74 counties in the autonomous region.
In his article, Raidi disclosed details of how the third generation of the CPC leadership, with Jiang Zemin at the core, decided to construct the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project at the request of the former Tibetan leader. On Nov. 10, 2000, Jiang issued an instruction for a special report on the issue by the Ministry of Railways, calling for work to begin as early as possible.
The highland rail project, which began in June 2001, was completed on July 1, 2007, the day President Hu Jintao addressed the opening ceremony. He called it a great project in China's rail history and a miracle in world rail history.
In the article, Raidi attributed the status of the Tibetan people to China's unique system of regional national autonomy, which has ensured an unprecedented unity among all ethnic groups and made the country a world model in successfully resolving the issue of ethnic minorities.
Since the Tibet Autonomous Region was founded in 1965, Tibetans and other minority people have participated in state, regional and ethnic affairs on an equal footing. So far, all the chairpersons of the regional people's congresses and regional government have been Tibetans, while Tibetans and minority people have accounted for 77.97 percent of all officials at all levels in Tibet, according to the former legislator.
With 20 deputies in the NPC, Tibetans enjoy the largest presence in the top legislature among all ethnic groups, compared with the proportion of Tibetans in the population, Raidi wrote.
He criticized the Dalai Lama and his backers, known as the so-called "government-in-exile" to the West, for its decades-long separatist activities, particularly the riots in the late 1980s and the March 14 riots in Lhasa in 2008.
The Dalai Lama and his backers have sought to portray theocratic serfdom in old Tibet as a "Shangri La" and stigmatize Democratic Reform as something that has trapped Tibetans in hellish suffering.
Raidi also blamed the Dalai Lama and his associates for a recent proposal asking the central authorities to give the so-called "Greater Tibet" a high degree of autonomy, which, he wrote, is nothing but a pro-independence appeal in disguised form.
"Their goal was not realized before, can not be realized now, and will never be realized in the future," he stressed.
As a Taiwanese, although we support democracy, we oppose Dalai Lama!
We all know Dalai Lama practiced theocratic serfdom to his poor Tibetan people. I actually regarded Dalai Lama's exile of 1959 as "Tibetans' Civil War" which can be described as "pro-China republicans vs pro-Dalai theocratic feudalist war"
I might add that theocracy (I mean religious rule, not necessarily with a diety involved) is the ONLY form of government that's actually worse than communism.
If they forced me to live in Saudi Arabia or the Soviet Union, I'd pick the latter.
Shuimo es uno de los muchos chinos que entienden... Me gustarŪa conocerle.