2009: Prominent Tibetan Communist Yangling Dorje’s Critique of China’s Ethnic and Religious Affairs Policy

Prominent Tibetan Communist Yangling Dorje’s Critique of China’s Ethnic and Religious Affairs Policy

[Introduction: Yangling Dorje Ch: 杨岭多吉, the General Director of Sichuan Tibetology Research Society, joined the Communist Party of China in 1949. Yang is a senior Tibetan Communist revolutionary from Derge County of Ganzi (Tibetan: Karzde) Prefecture. Yang previously served as the Party General Secretary of the TAR, Vice Governor of the TAR, Chairman of the TAR CPPCC, Vice Governor of Sichuan Province and Vice Chairman of Sichuan Provincial CPPCC, and the General Party Secretary of Ngaba Prefecture, as well as the General Party Secretary of the Derge County. Yang currently lives in Chengdu, Sichuan.]

Summary translation of article:

On December 19, 2009, Sichuan Provincial Tibetology Research Society (STRS) held its’ 6th Seminar on Tibet in Chengdu. Yangling Dorje, the Chairman of STRS personally organized the seminar and invited over 120 Tibetan scholars from Sichuan, TAR and Qinghai, as well as Yunnan Provinces. 

At the seminar, Yangling Dorje spoke on “Chinese Government Policy on Ethnic and Religious Affairs”, in which he gave his own personal view the events of “1979, 1989 and 2009 in the Tibetan areas of Sichuan”. 

Yang says, “In 1979, I questioned China’s policy on ethnic and religious affairs since the ‘Cultural Revolution’ did irreparable damage to us.  In 1989, the Central Government wrongly accused the Tibetans in Sichuan of rising in rebellion, and Yang Shangkun, then the President of China made a policy speech on Tibetans, but it was highly classified and I don’t know anything about it.  I conducted an investigation in Tibetan areas of Sichuan, but found no signs of any rebellions. I reported to Yang Shangkun that there was no rebellion and how forces above were preparing to restore order but there was no rebellion in the first place. Why was it that violent struggle 五斗in other areas of China was just violent struggle but it got labeled as rebellion in the Tibetan areas? It was simply a fake story made by some local officials in order to serve their own interests, but it greatly harmed the Tibetans.”   

On the issue of 2009, Yang says, “These days the government is promoting the policy of ‘separating religion from politics, religion from education and religion from healthcare (‘three separations’), and officials are saying religion is not allowed to interfere people’s marriage, government laws, governance and healthcare etc, but I think this is a serious mistake. 

  • First of all, the monasteries have been rebuilt with the approval of the government, the reincarnate lamas are appointed by the government religious affairs bureaus, the monks and nuns are citizens of China, and socialism is the policy of China; therefore, it’s a mistake to separate citizens from the socialist government, and the idea of separating religion from politics goes against China’s policy on religious affairs. (政教分离问题:寺庙是政府批准建立的,活佛是宗教局任命的,信教群众和僧侣是我国的人民和公民,社会主义就是政,让公民和人民脱离社会市政府主义是错误的。政教分离与宗教政策相背离的.) 
  • Secondly, the issue of separating religion from education is problematical: religion is itself a kind of education and without the monasteries and temples there is no education; the monasteries are educational and cultural centers.  Some people don’t understand the monasteries at all and claim there is a great deal that is not allowed under religious freedom, impose restrictions on monastic activities and put monasteries under tight control.  Some monasteries are labeled as ‘separatist’, but this makes not sense at all: if someone in the traffic department takes a bribe, we punish that person, we don’t put the entire traffic department on a blacklist! We need to weaken ethnic identities and strengthen the feeling that we all belong to the one Chinese nation.”. (教 教分离问题。宗教本身就是在搞教育,没有寺庙就没有教育,寺庙既是文化中心也是宗教活动中心。现在有些人对寺庙不了解,涉手管理寺庙法会开一半什么的,信 仰自由没权管这些,很多寺庙还被监控起来了,把寺庙划分成分裂寺庙,这些都是不切实际的,如交通厅有人行贿受赂,不可能把整个交通厅例入黑名单的嘛,我们 要淡化个体民族意识,强化整体的中华民族意识。”  
  • Thirdly, the issue of separating religion from healthcare; if a monk gets sick, of course he will want traditional Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine is a Tibetan tradition. Combining Chinese medicine with Tibetan medicine is quite possible just as is done combining Chinese and Western medicine. it’s impossible for the monks to live without seeing a doctor when they get sick and the Tibetan Medical Science is our traditional healthcare… (教医分离问题。僧侣得病,不可能不和医疗打交道,而藏医是传统医疗….就如中西结合一样中藏结合一样可行。
  • Fourthly, the issue that religion should not interfere with government policy. Religion is just a state of consciousness so the issue of interference does not arise. The only interference that one might suppose is that monks are citizens, but they act as citizens so the issue does not make sense. In the Cihai, the definition of interference would lead one to suppose that what is meant is that these monks who are citizens should not be involved in government policy, and of course that is wrong.

The four issues discussed above are the result of exaggerating things, generalizing too much, and seeing things as absolutes. The situation in the Tibet areas has been good, but people claim that there is so much splittism and that disturbances break out a lot. According to 1957 statistics, the central then spent an average of 840 RMB per capita in Han areas and only and average of 340 RMB per capita in minority areas. The investment there was smaller. This is something that the center should think about.

From: http://narba.tibetcul.com/75508.html  12/31/09

Many other scholars attending the recent seminar on Tibet in Chengdu also expressed their views on China’s Tibet policy.

Here are some examples:

A scholar who works for the Sichuan Provincial Department of Finance said,”There is a crisis in ethnic issues in China. If China has already established ethnic equality, then there shouldn’t be any ethnic oppression and discrimination.  China has ruled Tibetans for 60 years, so how could it be that the ‘foreigners and other outside our borders’ can still poke their noses into Tibetan issues?  Only if our home is in disorder would it be possible for anyone to infiltrate our people. China should rethink its nationalities policy. Does the problem lie there? 

The Government wonders why the reincarnate lamas selected by the government are not respected by the believers, but I can tell you the reasons!  The reason is that the government supports the theory that religion is the opiate of the people and that reincarnate lamas are fake!  Now who would believe in the fake reincarnate lamas selected by those who view religion as opium?  Monks who become representatives to the National People’s Congress are thereby violating the principles of their religion. These days, officials are promoting tourism in the monasteries and the ‘holy’ monks are doing ordinary labor. The Government is building a new theocracy.  Officials from the Chinese Communist Party’s Political and Legal Committee and its Propaganda Department as well as the government’s Public Security Department are directing religious activities.  Now these officials have come ‘living Buddhas’ and they are illegally building a theocracy! ” (眼 前存在民族问题的危机,中国建立起来就是民族平等,不应该有民族压迫与民族歧视问题,中国政府统治藏区了五、六十年,境外还插得了手吗?应该反思民族政策 是不是有问题,中央还下发过“为什么我们常树立起的活佛树不起威性”这样一个论文,其实我现在就可以回答,一唯的谈宗教是鸦片,活佛是假的,那鸦片论树立 起的假活佛能有威性吗?活佛成了人民代表,这本身就与宗教仪轨相违背。现在领导搞旅游,菩萨打工,官办宗教这才造成了新的政教合一。政法委、宣传部、公安 局等指导佛事活动,结果成了活佛,违法成了政教合一。

Another scholar called Tsering Dorje from Derge County says, ”Rabiya Kadeer has become a leader of Muslims due to China’s propaganda after the ‘July 5’ Incident in Xinjiang and we should learn a lesson from it. I’ve been working for the government since 1964 and I feel the government is now repeating what it did during the ‘Cultural Revolution’.  We can’t talk about politics without religion; we can’t talk about Communism without the masses.  I hope the government won’t just blame the Dalai Lama when ethnic and religious problems occur. Issues should be dealt with in the place where they occur!”   (7.5以后,热比亚成为阿拉伯的领袖,这都是宣传造成的,对舆论值得深思。当前的有些做法与文革差不多,64年参加工作到现在,整风很多次,这几年又开始让我们写剖析材料了。要我们完全脱离宗教谈政治,让我们离开大多数群众而谈共产主义事业是不可行。民族宗教上出现问题不要挂在达赖喇嘛一个人头上,就事论事,责任出在那里解决那里。) http://narba.tibetcul.com/75508.html

Chinese original text below.

Original Chinese text from Tibet.cul, a Chinese language Tibetan culture website located in Gansu Province, China.


四川省藏学研究会 四川藏学研究书院







主持人:四川甘孜学者 噶玛降村





提出了三个九:1 1979年。我对国家的民族宗教政策提出了质疑,在1959年10月28日召开的省委三级干部会上对视民族斗争为阶级斗争提出了批判,作了长达6页3篇的讲话。语录与文革给我们留下了难以抹去的创伤。2 1989年。当是依据中央两办下发的相关四川藏区的稳定问题说藏区要叛乱,当时的国家主席杨尚权重提四句十六字的提字,具体内容我不知道,是非常保密的。我深入实际调查,实际没有叛乱,其和狼来了一样,我知道中央两办公然下文事实却虚无,没有叛乱,便向杨濡代汇报不存在叛乱,上面准备新平,而下面却没有叛乱。后来1989年起草83号文件时,中央军委中长何其忠要我参加,我指出1968年涉及阿坝、红原、壤塘、松潘毛尔盖的叛乱,是把革命五斗当成叛乱,为什么内地五斗是造反藏区五斗是叛乱,没有叛乱这件事,实际上是一场误会,为了眼前利益牺牲整个藏区的利益是不可取的。最后搞得把中央都拉下水,责任由下面负,这是不真实反映问题的结果(其中得利,升官发财的多了,对他们的处理应该是不了了之,主要还是老百姓,不能引起新的矛盾。)平反新叛中,也给我们带来了创伤,凉山统计此间谅伤2500人,各地也应该统计。3 2009年的政教分离。这几年怪事多,就像龙泉驿的桃花,赤裸裸地开处各地游客纷纷前去,衣服穿得越少越吸引人。过去说宗教与社会主义社会相适应。说千道万理论总还是在实践中形成的。1 政教合一的问题。民主改革前的政教合一的封建农奴制度。政是政权,教是宗教。这种现象有些县上也有,比如德格土司。实际上宗教是指导思想、伦理道德、精神支柱。2 政教分离问题。我认为不同阶段有不同内涵。社会主义时期,依次建立的自治区、州、县、乡就是政。1950年至1955年实行团结上层的政策,先通过开宗教界会联合宗教人士调整矛盾,没有对群众的控制,我们地下党的两手空空也,现在政教合一荡然无存。民主改革的伟大胜利付出了血的代价,我们应该吸取教训不搞左的和扩大化,政教合一不存在,我们不用搞政教合一。教不再成为统治工具,只是个人信仰。十一届三中全会以来,驳乱反正,人们群众自己出力出资修寺庙,国家投入很少,后来国家有些投入,但出力最多的还是群众。现在关于政教关系有政教分离、教教分离,教医分离,宗教不得干预婚姻、司法、行政、医疗等的提法:(1)政教分离问题:寺庙是政府批准建立的,活佛是宗教局任命的,信教群众和僧侣是我国的人民和公民,社会主义就是政,让公民和人民脱离社会市政府主义是错误的。政教分离与宗教政策相背离的,我认为宗教已经基本上与社会主义相适应。贾庆林说:“宗教界信仰群众是社会主义建设的积极动力”。而一直以来宗教界人士是二等公民,很难享受公民权利。(2)教 教分离问题。宗教本身就是在搞教育,没有寺庙就没有教育,寺庙既是文化中心也是宗教活动中心。现在有些人对寺庙不了解,涉手管理寺庙法会开一半什么的,信仰自由没权管这些,很多寺庙还被监控起来了,把寺庙划分成分裂寺庙,这些都是不切实际的,如交通厅有人行贿受赂,不可能把整个交通厅例入黑名单的嘛,我们要淡化个体民族意识,强化整体的中华民族意识。(3)教医分离问题。僧侣得病,不可能不和医疗打交道,而藏医是传统医疗,就如中西结合一样中藏结合一样可行。(4)关于宗教不能干预行政等的问题。宗教只是意识形态,无所谓干预,能干预的只在僧侣,僧侣是公民,所以这个说法不成立。词海里对干预的解释是参与,言下之意公民不得参与这些活动。综上所述的四个观点都是把事情扩大化,普遍化,绝对化的结果,而藏区的形势是大好的,而有人学公然说分裂斗争最突出,活动最频繁。据1957年统计,中央投资在汉区达人均840,而少数民族人均340多元,投资相对少,中央也要进行认真反思。

二号发言人:中社院丽江代表团 牟世华


任乃强研究历史、地理、文献、土司、地名、地图、法制经济等等,对康藏地区定位准确,至今还有启迪意义,提出了四个动力:1纳西族。2 霍巴既蒙古。3 藏传佛教。4茶马古道。建议积极申报争取世界级文化遗产,如德格印经院、古碉、石渠嘛呢堆等等。




四号发言人:四川甘孜学者 丹珠泽仁


很多人说三星堆、金沙遗址是轰动世界的两个闪光点,诸多国家级研究员都参与到了这两个遗址调研活动中,我期待着最真实的答案,但一月一年的过去却始终没有人提出与藏族有关联,从开始没有人锁定氐羌与蛮夷,他们先研究是否与华夏民族有关,再说是古埃及、古印度、古巴比伦,他们认为氐羌与蛮夷没有能力建设这样的灿烂,于是我开始了自己的调研。根据本人从历史学,迁徒学等等中所掌握的资料看:1 汉文文献中记载的蜀人是西北江河人迁徒到西南的藏族支系的氐羌蛮夷人,蜀是藏族大姓中色或穷的写法,蜀人死去头向东是朝着故乡的,蜀人就是从东方的雪山脚下来的,蜀文化是藏族文化是顺理成章的。2 从藏族迁徒路线、不同学科纵横比较、同时期出土的文物相比,古蜀人是西北江河岸的藏族懂氏部落之一,氐羌是先民之一,属同流分源,懂氏先民是主流力量。3 历史是各民族共同创造的,中原的华夏文明,藏族的雪山文明,古蜀文化都只是区域问题,中华文明是繁衍生息在各民族的多文明,不是统一的文明,各民族的贡献有大有小,绝不是某一个文明统领或驾驭与其它文明之上。对于藏族来说,西藏山南是藏族文明的发源地,青海江河沿是东上的集散地,成都平原是藏族南下的辉煌文明。藏族与华夏文明并行,在很多地方有之更加辉煌灿烂的亮点。现阶段研究人士存在的一些共同特征:1 长期受中国文明是中原文明,少数民族本源上都受汉文化影响的大民族主义这种理念的影响。2 民族研究专家大多数不能直接阅读,很少有广度、深度、高度地去研究,大都以零散的一字半截为依据。3 学术上共同的观点是三星堆和金沙都没介入华夏族,当时的华夏势力小,但都没用氐羌、蛮夷去揭秘三星堆和金沙遗址。4 20世纪30年代发现三星堆、金沙遗址,定位为古蜀人。研究三星堆、金沙要从主流的强势的汉文化影印中走出来,要与全中国的文化来作比较,同整个这个时期的同源文化作比较。1999年10月21日,江泽民在视察三星堆,金沙遗址是说:“看来中国的历史要改写,不仅有黄河文明,还有长江文明。”江泽民是学理科的,他当然不知道这与氐羌、蛮夷有关联,但他也肯定了这个文明的灿烂和重要

四川省藏学研究会 四川藏学研究书院







主持人:四川甘孜学者 丹珠泽仁






眼前存在民族问题的危机,中国建立起来就是民族平等,不应该有民族压迫与民族歧视问题,1 要解决民族问题不是阶级问题的思想。2 中国政府统治藏区了五、六十年,境外还插得了手吗?家里搞乱民族渗透才会成功,应该反思民族政策是不是有问题,执行民族问题是不是有问题,宗教是文化,文化没有稳定不稳定的问题。中央还下发过“为什么我们常树立起的活佛树不起威性”这样一个论文,其实我现在就可以回答,一唯的谈宗教是鸦片论,活佛是假的,那鸦片论树立起的假活佛能有威性吗?活佛成了人民代表,这本身就与宗教仪轨相违背。现在领导搞旅游,菩萨打工,官办宗教这才造成了新的政教合一。3 藏族名字做到个人头上,个人名利失败。宗教搞定编定员违背政策,变成了信仰不自由,定员还说得过去。4 政法委、宣传部、公安局等指导佛事活动,结果成了活佛,违法成了政教合一。国家出台的拥护宗教暂不立法,依法管理宗教事务活动都是可行的。但允许建立宗教活动场所,工作做到经堂里边去是不对的。314事件过后,公安局在统计成都周边藏族人口,统计下来十万不到,原来统计是为了掌握不稳定因素,这样对待不行,民族问题当成阶级斗争,一直用斗的方法不能解决问题。

三号讨论人:德格学者 泽仁多吉

德格简介:1 德格土司。诞生于公元617年,至1951年传54代,1333年。2 有苯教、宁玛、萨迦,格鲁等的诸多名寺。3 德格印经院。1966年6月16日文革队伍进驻德格,之前杨岭多吉写信辗转至周恩来手里,幸免德格印经院没毁。4 德格南派藏医。斯德曲吉觉理开创真正意义上的水银化学制作。5 民族格萨尔,定位是最后一代藏王后300多年分散时为1038至1119的一位英雄人物。6 民族绘画艺术和手工业等。7 历史人物纷纭。扎巴珠、晋米旁、斯德曲吉觉理(著书100多函)、贡珠元旦嘉措(著书130多函)等等。8 德格为全国解放所作的贡献最大,在德格没死一个汉族人,二万多人把十八军送至西藏。

当前四川藏区宗教场所的一些问题:1 宗教活动场所开放,行政管到佛事活动上去了。2 维稳工作中,把虫说成牛,把牛说成象,应该就事论事。3 分裂与反分裂,那有分裂应反那里,不能把藏族看成藏族就是藏独,藏独就是藏族。4 对待群众问题,到群众中来到群众中去,75以后,热比亚成为阿拉伯的领袖,这都是宣传造成的,对舆论值得深思。5 当前的有些做法与文革差不多,64年参加工作到现在,整风很多次,这几年又开始让我们写剖析材料了。要我们完全脱离宗教谈政治,让我们离开大多数群众而谈共产主义事业是不可行的。6 群众中出现的事情不能扩大化。这几年天天宣传达赖,过去达不到今天这种影响。建议:1进行民族大团结教育,反对大民族主义和地方民族主义,树立中华民族意识。2 宗教工作只要不违背常的宪法和有关政策,在不增加老百姓负担的前提下,应该让他们自由活动,把权力下放给寺管会,寺管会管不了那是国家的事。早不来,迟不来,国家给喇嘛送红包,要求插国旗,无内不起浪嘛。3 民族宗教上出现问题不要挂在达赖喇嘛一个人头上,就事论事,责任出在那里解决那里。比如草场民间等群体纠纷出现人命案,国家赔几十万几十万的命价,工程老板出现命案政府贴,几百万几百万的哗哗流走,我们要几百几千元的调研费喊穷不给,应该一切就事论事,不抓辫子,不扣帽子,不打棍子。4 农牧民工作没能及时上传下达,加强干部的事业心和责任感。5 廉政工作反映突出,解决问题不多。

四号讨论人: 学者钦绕




六号讨论人:西南民大 根秋登真



About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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