Khampa Chairman blames foreigners for self-immolations

 A Chinese journalist writes of a foray to the Tibet Autonomous Region.  

I learned in books that the ferocious-looking men of Kham are strong “warriors of Tibet”, coming from the toughest tribe, wearing long hair and carrying long knives.

Yet I had a better understanding of their determined minds as I interviewed incumbent chairman Losang Jamcan, and two former chairmen, Qiangba Puncog and Padma Choling, of the Tibet autonomous region.

 The three hail from Qamdo prefecture in eastern Tibet and are deputies attending the annual session of the National People’s Congress.

 Qiangba Puncog, 65, is a thin intellectual with glasses, a technician who graduated from Chongqing University in the 1970s and speaks unhurriedly.

 Padma Choling, 61, is the most outspoken and straightforward when answering media questions. He served in the army for more than 17 years before turning to politics.

 Losang Jamcan, 55, who took office early this year, is very low-key, smiles little and said his family understands and supports “the Kham man’s striving for a career”.

 He spent 15 years in Shaanxi province and said his favorite cities are Lhasa as well as delicate ones such as Suzhou and Yangzhou in Jiangsu province.

 Yet no one can fail to notice the common nature in their Kham blood: the love for Tibet and hatred for forces hurting Tibetans, as well as the frankness in showing sentiments and doing what is needed with the invisible long knife of determination.

I can still hear Qiangba Puncog telling the world media last week that his heart hurts knowing some Tibetans were misled by foreign forces to self-immolate for political reasons, and warning that someone must shoulder the responsibility for the loss of innocent people’s lives.

 Qiangba Puncog speaks calmly in a dialect, yet no one has any difficulty getting the right information and sensing the weight behind his words.

 Meanwhile, Padma Choling’s eyes looked like they were on fire when he denounced people inciting self-immolation as “inhumane and against religious teaching”.

 Kham was a traditional geographic area covering the eastern Tibet autonomous region and parts of neighboring Sichuan, Qinghai and Yunnan provinces.

 Kham contains the headwaters of many of Asia’s longest and most important rivers. The Mekong, Yangtze, Yellow and the Nujiang rivers all originate in Kham.

I think that since these rivers not only jump deep canyons and gorges but also meander across nomadic grasslands and snowy mountains, they also taught the straightforward leaders of Kham to prudently address the issues.

 “Tibetans desire less and easily become content with their lives, they smile from their hearts,” said Losang Jamcan. “I would not endorse projects that do not benefit disadvantaged people but only beautify political track records or our images,” he said.

 “The ultimate goal of economic development is to give people of all ethnic groups happy lives and assurance.”


[From Chinadaily. The views expressed herein are not necessarily that of the editor or NewsNET East. Contact the writer at]

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Posted by on March 15, 2013. Filed under China. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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