Saturday, September 8, 2012

Where is South Tibet?

Map of Shigatse Prefecture in 'North Tibet'!!
According to this article posted in China Tibet Online, Shigatse is located in 'North Tibet'! 
Can you believe it?
This raises a very serious question: where is 'South Tibet'?
We already knew that the Chinese use this term for Arunachal Pradesh, but Shigatse being located in 'North Tibet' is new. 
Does it mean that Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan (and why not Uttarakhand, Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur) are 'South Tibet? 
Gyantse and Shigatse have always been the two largest cities of the province of Tsang; the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lamas is located in Shigatse. 
It was designated as 'Back Tibet' by the Qing Emperors, while Ü, where Lhasa is located, was named 'Front Tibet'. 
This division was artificial and uniquely used as the propaganda tool by the Chinese Emperors who thought it is easier to rule a divided country. The Dalai Lama exercised effective rule over both the three traditional provinces of Tibet (Amdo, Kham and Ü-Tsang). 
In the early 1950s, some Chinese officials (mainly General Fan Ming from the Northwest Bureau, First Field Army) tried to resurrect an independent 'Back Tibet' with the Panchen Lama as a ruler. It was rejected by Mao. 
But the story of Shigatse being in 'North Tibet' has never been heard of (the reporter of the China Tibet Online might also be new to the Roof of the World) .
To be followed...

Fan Ming (L) with Panchen Lama in 1951
Handicrafts condense cultural essence in northern Tibet
China Tibet Online
Ten most promising handicrafts with market prospect were recently selected in north Tibet's Shigatse Prefecture, which condense the regional cultural essence and will push the local tourism development.
Handcraft making will also increase the income of the farmers and herdsmen there.
The selection of "ten most promising handicrafts" and "ten skillful craftsmen" was launched early this year as an aid-Tibet project by northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, according to the organizer.
The ten handicrafts include Thangka of Tibetan medicine and Thousand-hand Buddha from Shigatse, Mani stone from Gyangze County, Tibetan tippet from Bainang County, jadeware from Rinbung County, copper handicraft from Namling County, Tibetan knife from Xaitongmoin County, mud mask from Sakya County, stone and silver ornament from Dingri County as well as bamboo Tangka from Dinkye County.

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