(3) Armed Tibetan Rebels Barbarously Violated Human Rights
The autumn and winter of 1956 saw the reactionaries and rebels in the Kam areas working hard to gain the support of the United States and Great Britain. The American CIA said aid would be forthcoming only when the 14th Dalai Lama had been moved to a foreign country. The reactionaries were aware that their influence over the broad masses was limited. They knew that in order to incite rebellion and continue their ¡°Tibetan independence¡± activities, they needed the 14th Dalai Lama. At this time, the 14th Dalai Lama was politically neutral, but leaning more closely towards the CPC and the Central Government. The reactionaries decided it was imperative to get the 14th Dalai Lama out of Tibet, where they could influence his stand. They began to form plans for sneaking the 14th Dalai Lama out of Tibet, and completed this task in March 1959.
The March 1959 armed rebellion in Tibet brought the conflict to a new level, moving from regional insurrection to an all out armed rebellion.
In May 1957, the reactionaries in the ruling elite of Tibet gave their support to the Kamba rebels to form the reactionary organization known as the 'four rivers and six mountain ranges.¡±*
In December 1957, the CIA airlifted Wangdui and another key Kamba rebel, who had received training in the United States, to Shannan in Tibet. In early 1958, Wangdui carried a radio to Lhasa, where he linked up with the reactionaries among the ruling elite and the chieftains of the 'four rivers and six mountain ranges.¡± This made it possible for the Tibetan rebels to use the radio to contact the CIA.
In June 1958, with the tacit consent and connivance of the Gaxag government, the Kamba rebels formed the 4,000-member 'four rivers and six mountain ranges religion protecting army¡± in Chigu County of Shannan, with Anzhugcang Gongbo Zhaxi as this new force's commander-in-chief. The CIA airdropped arms and munitions to the new army and, at the same time, shipped equipment to them via India. The Gaxag government supplied the 'religion protecting army¡± with food grain and firewood on the sly and let them take away huge amounts of arms and munitions from the Qingkesi Munitions Depot in Gandain, Namling County. The 'religion protecting army,¡± which had the support of the United States and the local government of Tibet, ambushed PLA troops and road maintenance workers in Nyemo, Margyang, Odu, Yangbajain, Gonggar and Zhalang. They also attacked the CPC and Central Government organs in Zetang, Zhamog and Dengqen in Shannan. Regional insurrection thus had become a major armed rebellion.
The rebel army, cloaked in 'nationality¡± and 'religion,¡± perpetrated all kinds of evils on the Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhism. The 'religion protecting army¡± looted Tibetan houses, raped Tibetan women, damaged lamaseries, killed ordinary Tibetans and persecuted patriotic monks. In Maizhokunggar County, 84 Tibetan houses were looted by the new army in May and June 1958. The rebels even stole butter lamps used in Buddhist worship. On August 2, they slaughtered Tibetans, including three lamas, and wounded five others in Zhamdo Village. At Kaisung Manor, inhabited by 59 serf households, the 'religion protecting army¡± repeatedly raped and looted over a period of 10 months, taking away some 14 tons of highland barley, huge amounts of wheat flour and butter, all the horse fodder and the strongest mules. Every woman in Zetang area was repeatedly raped. In Qonggyai, Baidi and Nanggarze, the 'religion protecting army¡± went so far as to rape nuns. In Yadong and Pagri, the army forcibly took away mules belonging to the Tibetans. The bailiff of the Donggar Monastery in Upper Yadong, who resisted the ransacking, was killed on the spot. Galsang, a Tibetan nurse with the Yadong Clinic, was raped alongside the highway. In Gamba County, the rebel army slaughtered the magistrate sent by the Panchen system. Puncog, a Tibetan tailor in Nedong County, was killed because he opposed the rebellion. His heart was torn from his body as a warning to others. In Baqeng, the eyes of Burde, a Tibetan herder, were gouged out for delivering letters for the PLA troops.
The atrocities perpetrated by the 'religion protecting army¡± found their way into archives kept by the Gaxag government. By August 1958, the Gaxag had received more than 70 reports of murder and looting. Some local Tibetan officials also complained about the atrocities in reports filed with the Gaxag government. For example, the magistrate of Gonggar County reported: 'On the 28th day of this month, more than 200 Kamba cavalrymen from Zhadui and Yangzhog...forced us to prepare housing, horse fodder and daily use articles for them. The sum was very large....The ordinary people suffered a lot from them.¡± (History of the Tibetan Revolution, p.117)
The Tibetan rebels slaughtered the PLA officers and men in an extremely cruel way. On November 25, 1956, Purbaboin, the rebel chief in Mangkam attacked the PLA troops stationed at the Chuka Ferry by the Langcangjiang River, killing 21 PLA soldiers below the rank of company commander. On September 17, 1958, when the 'religion protecting army¡± attacked a vehicle of the PLA Tibet Military Area Clinic in Woyu County, all the 16 PLA clinic members in the vehicle were killed. The rebels stabbed with bayonets the wombs and bellies of female doctors and nurses. On December 18 and 19, the rebel army ambushed PLA trucks in Gonggar and Zhalang, destroying nine trucks, and killing 93 and wounding 35, including one deputy regimental commander and the deputy director of the Shannan Work Committee.
In early 1959, as the rebel forces expanded in strength, Soikang and Neuxur from the ruling elite felt this was the opportune time to take the 14th Dalai Lama out of Tibet. They provoked riots in Lhasa by firing on the PLA troops. When the PLA troops returned fire, the two kidnapped the 14th Dalai Lama under the pretext of protecting him.
The 14th Dalai Lama had suggested they watch a theatrical performance in the PLA Tibet Military Area courtyard on March 10, 1959. At this time, the reactionaries put their plans into effect. They spread rumors among the Tibetans, saying the PLA was planning to take the 14th Dalai Lama to the PLA Tibet Military Area courtyard and had him killed. ¡°The Han plans to use helicopter to take the 14th Dalai Lama to Beijing from the PLA Tibet Military Area Command. They urged the Tibetans to stop the 14th Dalai Lama from going. More than 2,000 Tibetans, believing the rumors, surrounded Norbu Lingka, depriving the 14th Dalai Lama of his freedom. In front of Norbu Lingka, Kainqung Pagbalha, a patriotic member of the ruling class, was killed by the rebels. His body was tied to a horse, with his head on the ground. The rebels drove the horse through the streets, terrifying the locals.
The rebels also wounded Sangpo Cewang Rinzin, the deputy commander of the PLA Tibet Military Area and a Galoon official of the Tibetan government. In the Potala Palace, the rebels pointed their guns at Lama Lobsang Rinqen, forcing him to join their ranks. When hundreds of rebels captured the Jokhang Monastery, they forced lamas there to take up guns and join them in fighting. They drove those lamas who persisted in chanting Buddhist scriptures out of the halls. Then they defecated and urinated in the scripture halls and stole the golden statues. They killed Lama Qenrao Gyamba who voiced opposition to their behavior.
The rebels forced ordinary people to demonstrate in the street and shout such slogans as 'independence for Tibet.¡± They organized the headquarters of the rebel army and gathered Tibetan troops to join the rebels in putting up road barriers. The rebel army of 7,000 who had gathered in the ensuing days fired on the PLA Tibet Military Area. On March 17, Soikang, Neuxur and rebel leaders kidnapped the 14th Dalai Lama and his relatives at Norbu Lingka on the excuse that 'the Han have fired two artillery shells outside the northern wall of Norbu Lingka, threatening the life of the 14th Dalai Lama.¡± They crossed the Lhasa River and fled Shannan.
Prior to this, Political Commissar Tan Guansan and the 14th Dalai Lama had exchanged three letters. From the letters of the 14th Dalai Lama it is evident that he had no intention of fleeing Tibet. On the night of March 19, the armed rebels launched a full-scale offensive against the CPC organs in Lhasa, thus beginning the all-round armed rebellion in Tibet.
The rebellion was suppressed, and the rebels fled helter-skelter. As they did, they persecuted patriots and ordinary Tibetans. Anzhugcang Gongbo Zhaxi, a leader of the rebel army, wrote a letter to the Living Buddha Doje Palmo at the Yamzhog Sangding Monastery, forcing her to leave the monastery. Relatives of the Living Buddha were terrified. The rebels kidnapped the Living Buddha Doje Palmo. While on their way to Bhutan, she saw the troops of the rebel army killing, looting, and raping in Lhozhag. The locals fled into the mountains. When the 10,000 Tibetans kidnapped by the armed rebels were refused entrance into Bhutan, they stayed exposed to the elements in the surrounding fields. Suffering from cold and hunger, they missed their homes very much. Some who tried to flee were executed. One lama from the Zhaibung Monastery, who was involved in the rebellion, fled to Kadaquede Monastery in Sangri County of Shannan. Relying on the force of the 'religion protecting army,¡± he raped two young lamas. When one refused to be raped again, the lama killed the young lama. There was also internal fighting and killing among the rebel forces, especially when they were fleeing. This happened between the rebel leaders and ordinary rebels, between Kamba rebels and rebels from the U-Tsang area, and between rebels representing different factions. The Living Buddha Doje Palmo overheard stories about Kamba rebels fighting Tibetan troops for food and horses, with losses inflicted on both sides.
What the rebels did to patriotic Tibetans and the ordinary Tibetan masses, the PLA officers and men, Party leaders and ordinary workers, lamaseries and lamas, as well as their internal fighting, show that they were not fighting the Han only; the Tibetans suffered the most; they waved the banner of protecting religion, but were doing many things that violated Buddhist doctrines. They were nothing but bandits who violated human rights. No wonder many Tibetans condemned them by saying: ¡°They are not a 'religion protecting army,'but a 'religion destroying army'...They are simply bandits who will burn in hell.¡±
The armed rebels were used as pawns by the reactionary serf owners to defend the dark, reactionary, barbarous and cruel feudal serf system. The oppressive and exploitive nature of the reactionary serf owners inevitably found expression in the activities of the armed rebels. Xagabba was a serf owner himself and an important member and representative of the rebels. It is shear hypocrisy for one who trampled human rights under foot to now claim that the CPC is violating human rights in Tibet.