An Open Letter by a Tibetan Cadre

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated an open letter to the Chinese leadership written by Luo Feng, a Tibetan cadre, about the Communist Party Secretary of Ngaba (Ch: Aba), Shi Jun. The letter was written in the wake of a major promotion of hardliner Shi Jun from regional Party Secretary to the Director-General of Public Security for Sichuan province.

The letter appeared on website forums and blogs such as the one below on February 16, 2012 and was circulated widely. The letter was re-posted on Woeser’s blog on February 18, 2012 and also appeared in Tibetan on Tibetan blogs but were promptly taken offline. The letter is highly critical of Shi Jun and is an unusually frank and outspoken piece of writing from a Tibetan official. The content of the letter touches on many areas of concern for Tibetans such as education, culture and discriminatory policies.

Dear Leader,

How are you? If you could find time in your busy schedule to finish reading this letter, it would be an extremely fortunate thing for the people in Ngaba Prefecture. It is because what I want to tell you about is the problems of Comrade Shi Jun, whose actions have impacted the general situation in Ngaba Prefecture.

As soon as he arrived in Ngaba, many natural disasters and man-made calamities occurred. Though these natural disasters have nothing to do with him, he is surely responsible for the man-made disasters, because this is greatly related his ultra-leftist thinking, speech and action. Therefore, there are many stories about him among the populace and some of them are really not unreasonable. Some people say that he is the “lord of devils.” In order to gain a promotion for himself, he had a minor incident escalated into a major and serious incident so that he could claim credit for having handled the incident appropriately. He talked about the broken guns and rusty knives kept in the Protective Deity Hall of monasteries as tools (weapons) used by anti-Communist party and pro-Tibetan independence forces (for hundreds of years there has been a custom in Tibetan areas that when somebody has decided not to do evil deeds any more, he would put down his gun and knife and hand them over to a monastery). As a matter of fact, Tibetan people are the ones who are most grateful to the Communist Party, then, he has not been able to stop what he is doing. There is a saying among the people: the practice of one guard every three paces and a sentry post every five paces is just like Iraq, the practice of more members of the working team than the number of monks is like the Cultural Revolution, and the practice of having the common people live under the gun is like Libya.

The life of losing one’s freedom without any development year after year has made the simple herdsmen feel that they have lost hope, thus, though we have done much work which has made people wealthy and enjoy a stable life, there is still a small number of people who respond to the instigation outside of China. And there are continuously incidents which we call “grilling” incidents, and there are more and more. Those who engage in self-immolation started with monks, then nuns began to do the same, and eventually laymen also became participants.

Except the forces outside of China, nobody has ever done any detail and thorough research about the internal reasons. What is actually the reason why a great number of working teams have not had any substantial effect? For the sake of his own promotion in May this year, Shi Jun again engaged in human-wave strategy on a large scale, and he started the precedent that all cadres went to work on the first day of the Chinese New Year for the first time since the establishment of Ngaba Prefecture. As long as his thinking, his methods, his feeling and his attitude does not change, and he continues to do his work crudely, then it will be very difficult for Ngaba to be peaceful and for monasteries to be auspicious.

His way of appointing officials has made people of all walks of life in Ngaba feel unimaginably strange and is impervious to reason. The comments among the people go as follows: the work of maintaining stability in Ngaba County was in charge by two “lunatics,” and the more they take control, the crazier the situation is becoming. One is the deputy governor of Ngaba Prefecture Yan Chunfeng, who was recruited as a city-planning specialist by Ngaba Prefecture after May 12, but he does not know anything about the ethnic minority regions, has no knowledge about the policies for religion or religious problems, has no emotional attachment toward people in Tibetan areas, and is even more ignorant about Tibetan language. Thus, having him in charge of maintaining stability is simply a complete mistake, and he has made an ass of himself. The more he talks, the sillier he sounds, and the more work he does, the more chaotic the situation is. The other “lunatic” is Liu Feng, who is the head of the Administration Department of Kirti Monastery. Like Chunfeng, he is also like a blank paper and knows nothing. He only knows how to scheme, but does not know how to pacify.

There is another story concerning his method of appointing officials among the people: it is called “holding the gun and fighting the war” (the phrase is a homonym for “Promoting Qiang cadres and striking down Tibetan cadres). He has transferred his hatred against those who engaged in beating and smashing in “March 14 Incident” to Tibetan cadres and common people. While he has removed a group of cadres out of their offices and has also sidelined a group of cadres, at the same time he has also supported a group of Qiang cadres and have them as his protégés. He has appointed these Qiang people to various positions in various counties and various working units. But, just like one forgot about the situation of the country that 94% of people in our country is Han Chinese, he completely forgot that the situation of Ngaba prefecture is that 59% of people are Tibetans and 18% of them are Qiang. Therefore, the common people say that Tibetan cadres fell from their positions in the hand of Shi Jun, and Qiang cadres fell from their position in the effort to reconstruct Qiang areas destructed by earthquakes. As a matter of fact, his favouritism to Qiang cadres has not only come from the fact that the reconstruction of Qiang areas after the earthquake has earned him great honour and established his great achievements in his official career, but what is more important is that his favouritism toward Qiang cadres is because of Gu Yunlong, who is called “The Qiang King.” The enterprises owned by Gu is called Gu family enterprise, and Gu has been involved in reconstruction projects after the earthquake. Shi Jun and Gu divide the profit equally between themselves and became people who share the same fate, thus, he has always defended Gu all the time and has always listened to Gu. Even the governor Wu has not been able to win an upper hand in handling many affairs. In appointing officials to important positions, Shi Jun always wants to appoint people who belong to Gu’s faction, not people close to governor Gu. What governor Gu can do is to constantly complain but has no way to deal with the situation. Because Governor Wu knows that, as a Tibetan, he cannot afford to provoke Shi Jun, and like others, he will be thrown into “hell” with one statement “that he has Tibetan complex and has national sentiment.” To his superiors, he pretends to be very democratic and appears to be amicable and approachable, but, in fact, in meetings he does not allow any dissenting voices. He behaves differently in meetings and outside meetings. He clearly shows discrimination to his subordinates, and on public occasions has made the remark that Tibetans are making threatening gestures, and are stupid and ignorant.

It can be said that he is a double-dealer in politics. He plays politics games in official circles, inflates economic achievements, destroys culture and coerces others in their beliefs. All these are for the sake of himself to be promoted to became a high-ranking official in the province:

—- in appointing the deputy governor, he chose Gu, and in doing so, his double-faced behaviour for many years has been completely exposed. When he recommended Gu to be the Deputy Party Secretary, he offended Chen Gang, the oldest standing member of Ngaba Prefectural Party Committee, who should be appointed by seniority and qualifications, but was transferred to the Political Consultative Conference of Ngaba Prefecture. Chen was very resentful of this. Yang Kelin, as the secretary of the committee of politics and law for many years, has braved untold dangers and has made great attribution to maintaining stability, but his merits are not recognised. Now he also starts to openly oppose what Shi Jun is promoting. Jin Jichang, as the head of the United Front department and the Secretary-General of Ngaba Prefecture, has gone to the dangerous places to pacify since the March 14 incident, and he has served Shi Jun very well, but he did not recommend Jin either. Therefore, Jin also complains a lot. Zhang Wanping… well, except Gu Yunlong, none of the members of the Standing committee of Ngaba party committee respects him. What kind of cohesion and fighting capacity will such a bureaucracy headed by such a leader have? Common people’s comment about him is as follows: his ability is inferior to Huang Xinchu, his energy is not as good as Li Chongxi, his charm is not on par with Ou Zegao, and his boldness is not equal to Zebazu. The leadership group of Ngaba prefecture just replaced is the weakest among all the successive groups. Except one or two people whose experience, qualifications, standard, ability and comprehensive quality is still generally acknowledged, the common people do not have much high opinion of most cadres. Many indigenous old cadres who has work experience in the region for many years are either transferred to the People’s Political Consultative Conference or have not been promoted when they are allowed to remain in their positions. Many of these cadres in their prime were perplexed, have many complains and is not in any mood to work. In fact, Shi Jun does not trust any of the local cadres at all, and even his driver and secretary are brought from other places.

Those who have been recruited for the various departments of Ngaba Prefectural Party Committee are all outside cadres, thus, sending down cadres from higher offices, outside cadres, fake Tibetan and fake Qiang cadres fill the various departments of the prefecture and other government organisations on a county level. The situation of our prefecture has not developed to the extent that Han Chinese cadres can independently serve the common people in the area, furthermore, there are also certain requirements for appointing cadres in accordance with the system of national regional autonomy. At present, our prefecture needs bilingual cadres, and this problem is clearly shown in the work of maintaining stability. The advantage and the positive result of bilingual cadres’ work in maintaining stability is very clear, but Shi Jun has not promoted bilingual cadres and not put these bi-lingual cadres in important positions. Among over 600 cadres who was promoted right before the New Year, fewer than 20 of them were bilingual cadres. Except doing their job, the local cadres have no hope. Under the circumstances, except the depression and complaints, what else can they put in their belly?

—– All the economic indexes are exaggerated, and the GDP, the income of farmers and
herdsmen, the income of tourism, the reconstruction after the earthquake, etc, are all exaggerated for the sake of his own political achievements. Even the financial revenue and tax revenue is inflated. After Shi Jun came to work in Ngaba prefecture, the biggest improvement cadres and common people has made is that they have learned to falsify the figures.

—— As far as the greatest damage is concerned, we will say the damage done to Tibetan culture is the greatest. The greatest manifestation of the damage done through Shi’s “Promoting Qiang cadres and Striking down the Tibetan ones” is on Tibetan culture. First of all, two Qiang officials were appointed to be in charge of culture and education in Ngaba Prefectural Party Committee and Ngaba People’s Government: Chen Gang in Party Committee, and Liu Wenzhi in the prefectural government. Through their careful arrangements, a group of primary and middle schools in Tibetan areas were dissolved, merged, or their students were transferred to study in Qiang areas in Maoxian County. Shi Jun and Gu Yunlong listed nomads as the most unstable group and Barkham Nationality Teacher’s School as the most unstable school. In all the big and small meetings for maintaining stability, they singled out them and talked about them in public. Though they have factual evidence to make such a statement, yet their negative impact has greatly impacted the national relations, and to a certain degree, this cause the conflict between Qiang people and Tibetans. Tibetans have become the group who have been universally condemned. Just like once there were incidents that people were afraid of Tibetans and discriminated against Tibetans in major cities in inland China, the tendency of the cadres and common people in Ngaba prefecture to fear Tibetans and discriminate against Tibetans is also very clear. Some non-Tibetan cadres who do not have principles or feelings responded to some sensitive incidents in the prefecture by saying “it is best all of them are burned” or “all should be executed.” It is very prominent that Qiang and Tibetan cadres are carving up the interest and the national conflict is deepening. Second, except Maoxian County which is a pure Qiang area, Tibetans and Qiang account for one third of the entire population in Wenchuan County respectively, but Shi Jun forged Wenchuan to be a Qiang city. Meanwhile, he also changed Yingxiu, Shuimo and other Tibetan areas in history as Qiang areas, and used the so-called “ uniqueness” to distort history. The common people say that 600 years of rule by Wasi tusi (Lu dgu rgyal po) in Wenchuan has completely disappeared and vanished without a trace. Third, all the signs along the road is written so and so Qiang village, but none of the Tibetan villages has any sign to note it is a Tibetan village. The impression given to people is that when you walk into Ngaba, you actually enter Qiang area. People hardly realize that ten out thirteen counties are actually pure Tibetan counties, Wenchuan and Lixian Counties are Tibetan and Qiang counties, and only Maoxian County is a Qiang county. Fourth, he also wants to change other counties to Qiang county, for instance,we can say 99% of people in Jiuzaigou (gzi tshwa sde dgu) are Tibetans, but Shi Jun built the so-called Qiang village in the paradise of Jiuzhaigou. He also had a program made portraying Jiuzhai as descendants of a Qiang woman, and this has a lot to do with a group of Qiang people like Gu Yunlong who are propagating culture and idea of Qiang people. This is so comical that it makes people laugh. According to some travel agencies, they have tried every means to strike against and suppress the troupe called “Tibetan Mystery”, selected to be one of the ten top quality cultural programs by the Department of Culture, and the main reason is to protect the interest of the troupe managed by Wang Bin, the Qiang cultural expert who has been approved and recognized by them. Such action is just like to make five star hotels to charge the same price as simple inns with only chicken feathers to sleep in. How is it possible to manage such cultural enterprises well. But Shi Jun has greatly praised those blowing-up aspects of culture. Just like it is easy to draw a picture with a blank paper, he has the national culture built on castle in air. The culture forged in Ngaba Prefecture is just like playing time travelling drama. The fifth, frequently he talks about “Qiang and Tibetan” Autonomous Prefecture, rather than “Tibetan and Qiang” Autonomous Prefecture, and similarly, he often discusses “Qiang Township and Tibetan village”, rather than “Tibetan township and Qiang Village.” He also put the ceremonial scarf (khata) inside the red cloth used by Qiang people to pray for luck and auspiciousness. Such statements and actions are absolutely not just slip of tongue or inadvertent action, but on purpose. The sixth, all those who wear Tibetan costume cannot enter the gate of Ngaba Party Committee or Ngaba People’s Government. All those who speak Tibetan have become an object of suspicion. In his view, Tibetan costumes should only appear on stage or in dramas, otherwise, those who wear them are disloyal. All the afore-mentioned actions have greatly lowered the effect of such project as “the settlement of nomads and the new life” and “comprehensively prevent and cure Kaschin-Beck”, which are intended to benefit people in nomadic regions and carried out by the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee and Sichuan Provincial Government. They also undermine the good foundation laid by previous leaders such as Ou Zegao, Li Chongxi, Huang Xinchu and others. They have an even greater negative impact on the implementation of Tibet work as planned by the Central Party Committee and Sichuan Provincial Party Committee. The result is that the stability, unity, harmony and development of minority region has not been achieved.

Signed:

Luo Feng, Tel. 18782249870

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Tibetan

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