Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Demchog belongs to India
Chief of Army Staff, General V K Singh, declared that "the 'so-called' intrusions take place due to perceptional differences about the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, an issue which is being addressed by the two countries through discussion".
It is regrettable that the Army Chief should speak of 'so-called intrusions'. Either there are 'intrusions' or there are not.
'Perceptional' does not mean anything. The Chinese 'perceive' the entire Arunachal Pradesh as theirs. What conclusions should the Army take?
Regarding Demchog, I reproduced here the minutes of the 1960 negotiations between India and China. The 'perceptions' of both countries have not changed since then.
At one point during the negotiations Dr S. Gopal remarked that Demchog was the place where the 'perceptions' between the two sides were the closest. The Chinese side was not far to agree to the Indian historical facts. The answer of the Chinese, cited at the end is rather vague and without any historical or map references.
Five rounds of talks between India and China (1960)
Attended the talks, on the Indian side:Mr. J. S. Mehta, Director, China Division in the Ministry of External Affairs
Dr. S. Gopal, Director, Historical Division in the Ministry of External Affairs
Among the advisors who attended all meetings were:
Mr. V.V. Paranjpe, Mr. T. S. Murthy and Mr. G. Narayana Rao.
Mr. K. Gopalachari attended only those meetings as were held in New Delhi.
On the Chinese side:
Mr. Chang Wen-chin, Director, First Asian Department in the Chinese Foreign Office
Mr. Yang Kung-su, Director, Tibet Bureau of Foreign Affairs, in the Chinese Foreign Office
Among the advisors were-Messrs Chen Chia-tung, Liao Teh-yun, Tu Kuo-wie, Chu Chen-chi, Chi Chao-chu, Kao Chen-chi and Ho Ta-chi. Three to four from among them attended the meetings.
The first two meetings were held in Peking, in late June and late July 1960; the next two in New Delhi, in late August and late September 1960 and the last in Rangoon, early in December 1960.
Beijing (Fourth Week of June)
(Dr. S. Gopal presents Indian’s stand on Ladakh). Now, Maryul, meaning lowlands, was the name given to Ladakh. Even at that time i.e. in the 10th century, the boundary of Ladakh was therefore known to lie — apart from Rudok which at that time belonged to Ladakh — at Lde-mchog-dkar-po, i.e. Demchok; and at the top of the pass of the Yimig rock, i.e. at the Imis pass; and Wamle, i.e. Hanle, was known to be within Ladakh. The present Indian alignment runs past Demchok and through the Imis pass to include Hanle in India. So even in the tenth century the boundary alignment of Ladakh was, in this sector, where it is now.
In the later part, i.e., the second half of this same Ladakh Chronicle, there is a reference to the war that took place at the time (1681 to 1683) when this part of the chronicle was being written, when a mixed force of Mongols and Tibetans invaded Ladakh. This force was driven out by the Ladakhis with the assistance of the Mogul Governor of Kashmir, Ladakh in 1664 having become a part of the Mogul empire. The Ladakhi Chronicle states — I am quoting from page 116 — that after the war Ladakh Tibet again decided that “the boundary shall be fixed at the Lha-ri stream at Bdemchog”. Bde-mchog is clearly Demchok and this quotation shows that in the 17th century, as in the tenth century 700 years earlier, the traditional boundary of Ladakh continued to lie east of Demchok.
Mr. Mehta: I just wanted to know whether it is proposed that documents or photostat copies of documents are to be exchanged or are they to be shown in original and not be given for study.
Mr. Chang: They must just be shown.
Dr. S. Gopal: Now we are coming to rarer documents. If the Chinese side prefers the system of exchange of photostats.
Mr. Chang: Suppose we do like this. If the quotations are short, we can quote them orally. If they are longer then we may exchange typed copies to start with. But we will discuss what method we will adopt in varying situations because to prepare photostats may require some time.
Dr. S. Gopal: Extracts are quite convenient for documents; but what about maps?
Mr. Chang: For maps we have either photostats or originals.
Dr. S. Gopal: Let it be decided now.
Mr. Mehta: I take it that it is agreed that wherever possible, considering the nature of the documents, photostats will be exchanged; that would provide us time to study them, which of course cannot be done immediately. We do not want to complicate this business any more than is necessary. I think perhaps we might leave it now by saying that if the receiving side which is to study the document desires to have a Photostat copy, then the furnishing side should be agreeable to provide it.
Mr. Chang: In principle we have no objection to this, but in some specific cases, as Dr. S. Gopal has mentioned some books, if we want Photostat of the entire book, it may be difficult. In such cases, only the relevant portions may be given.
Mr. Mehta: Of course, in the case of published material, this may not always be necessary, but even where photostats are considered necessary obviously we must limit it to the relevant portions.
Dr. S. Gopal: What about maps?
Mr. Mehta: In the case of maps, it will be necessary to exchange photostats.
(The Chinese side agreed)
Dr. S. Gopal: Shall I continue?
Mr. Chang: Yes
Dr. S. Gopal: Further evidence of the traditional Indian alignment in this sector is provided by the travellers who visited this area and recorded their experience. Ippolito Desideri, a Jesuit priest, travelled from Leh to Lhasa in the years 1715-16. In his diary (translated into English as “An Account of Tibet”), Desideri wrote —I am quoting from Page 81 of this book — “On the seventh of September we arrived at Trescij-Khang, or “Abode of Mirth”, a town on the frontier between Second and Third Tibet, defended by strong walls and a deep ditch with drawbridges”.
Second Tibet is Ladakh and Third Tibet is Tibet proper and the town on the frontier is Trescij-Khang, i.e. Tashigong. If therefore the frontier lay at Tashigong, that means that the traditional boundary between Ladakh and Tibet in 1715 when Desideri went there, was in accordance with the present Indian alignment and Demchok was a part of Ladakh.
Another traveller who visited this area in the early 19th century, James Baillie Fraser, published his account in 1820. His block is called Journal of a Tour through part of the snowy range of the Himala Mountains and to the sources of the rivers Jamna and Ganges. Describing his route from Leh, Fraser states that on the 11th day after setting out from Oopshee, a town of Ladakh, he arrived at “Donzog, thus far in Ladakh”; then he states that on the 12th day he reached “Tuzheegong (A Chinese fort)”. In other words according to Fraser, Donzog, i.e. Demchok, was on the frontier of Ladakh, while Tashigong was in China. These references are on page 309 of the book.
About thirty years later, in 1846, Alaxender Cunningham, an official of the East India Company, visited the area, in 1854 and published a book on Ladakh. This book called Ladakh, I might add, has been referred to with approval by Premier Chou En-lai himself in his letter of 8th September 1959. Cunningham wrote of the boundary between Ladakh and Tibet-I am quoting from page 261-
“With Rudok on the east there has been a long peace. The boundary is well defined by piles of stones which were set up after the last expulsion of the Sokpo, or Mongol hordes in A. D. 1687, when the Ladakhis received considerable assistance from Kashmir”.
Cunningham also specially mentions the Demchok region and states-this is a quotation from pages 328-329, the first two lines are from page 328 and the last two lines from page 329: “A large stone was then (after the expulsion of the Mongols) set up as a permanent boundary between the two countries, the line of demarcation being drawn from the village of Dechhog to the hill of Karbonas”.Dechhog is Demchok.
That this boundary between Ladakh and Tibet was a traditional boundary, well known for centuries, is proved not only by evidence from the Indian side, but also by Chinese evidence. For instance, when in 1846 the British authorities in their correspondence with the Chinese Government referred to the boundary between Ladakh and Tibet, the Chinese Imperial Commissioner at Canton replied on 20th January 1847-I am quoting from the Imperial Commissioner’s reply: “In regard to your question whether this matter has been reported to the Emperor, I beg to remark that you the Honourable Envoy in your former correspondence referred to the distinct settlement of the boundaries and the wish of English merchants to trade with Tibet. Since however that territory had its ancient frontier, it was needless to establish any other”.
In other words, even the Chinese Government agreed that the frontier between Ladakh and Tibet was an “ancient frontier”, well-known for centuries, that it was a traditional frontier beyond dispute ; and this traditional frontier, as I have already brought forward further evidence, was in accordance with the present Indian alignment.
In other words, even the Chinese Government agreed that the frontier between Ladakh and Tibet was an “ancient frontier”, well-known for centuries, that it was a traditional frontier beyond dispute; and this traditional frontier, as I have already brought forward further evidence, was in accordance with the present Indian alignment.
Some other travellers, apart from the ones I have already mentioned, also crossed the boundary between Ladakh and Tibet and their accounts and evidence substantiate the present Indian alignment. Nain Singh, an Indian traveller, went on a journey from Leh to Lhasa in 1873. His account was published in the journal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1877 – and I am quoting from page 89:
“At Niagzu Rawang is the boundary between Tibet and Ladakh; the right bank of the stream belongs to the latter and the left bank to the former.”
This description by Nain Singh corroborates the Indian alignment in the Chumesang-Changlung area. Niagzu is a camping ground which is within the Indian frontier-coordinates 780 56 “ E 340 N-and when Nain Singh in 1873 says the boundary lies along Niagzu stream, he is giving a description in accordance with the Indian alignment. This statement of Nain Singh that Niagzu lay on the boundary is confirmed by Wellby, another traveller, who visited the area towards the end of the 19th century and published in 1898 a record of this journey. This book is called Through Unknown Tibet and confirmation about the alignment at Niagzu is on page 57 of the book. Though Wellby’s book is a well known published one, I have a Photostat here of a diagram in the book showing that Niagzu is located on the border, which the Chinese side may like to see.
(Dr. S. Gopal handed over a photostat copy of the diagram to the Chinese side who returned it after perusal.)
NEW DELHI (Fourth Week of September)
The Chinese side answered in a vague manner:
Mr Yang: Concerning the area of Pangong lake and the Demchok area, we have cited firm and unshakable facts and evidence to prove that they belong to Tibet and at the last meeting I further explained the Shika system of Tibet in the past under the system of feudal lords and pointed out that according to this system and feudal lords not only enjoyed the right of ownership of land and revenue but also enjoyed the right of administrative jurisdiction as in the competence of the State authority towards the Shika. This is known to all those who are familiar with the situation of Tibet. The fact that the Tibet local government in Demchok directly administered the Shika, proves that the Tibet local Government has carried out directive administrative jurisdiction in this area.