Sunday, February 21, 2021

Mysterious Disappearances on the Roof of the World

TAR Standing Committee meeting on February 19

In December, I mentioned that the Ninth Plenary Session of the Ninth Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the Economic Work Conference of the Regional Party Committee, took place in Lhasa from December 25 to 27, 2020.
The Chinese media spoke of the importance of the conference held ‘at a historic moment’ when the 13th Five-Year Plan ended ‘successfully’ (with hundreds of new villages on India’s borders, among other achievements!!). 

Xinhua added: “The building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects was achieved, and the new journey for the comprehensive construction of a socialist modern Tibet, which is about to begin, is self-evident.”
Though it was an important gathering, the real news was about the absence of Lobsang Gyaltsen, the Chairman of the TAR Regional Congress and senior most Tibetan cadre (he is a full member of the all-powerful Central Committee).
I then wrote: “Gyasltsen was nowhere to be seen. It is too early to speculate, but that there not many explanations as of now; either he caught a bad cold or more (the delegates were seen respecting social distancing during the Plenum, with only alternate chairs occupied by the participants) or Lobsang Gyaltsen is under ‘investigation’.”

Morphed appearance of Lobsang Gyaltsen
He came back and disappeared again
Since then Lobsang Gyaltsen has reappeared, extremely skinny, to disappear again.
But did he really reappear?
On February 19, he was seen attending a meeting of the TAR Standing Committee; Wu Yingjie, the TAR Party Secretary was to convey “the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech at the 2021 Spring Festival”.
Yu exhorted the cadres to use “the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech as guide to do a good job of the 'Four Major Events’ (one is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the party and another one, the so-called 70th peaceful liberation of Tibet).
The latter probably meant the signature of the 17-Point Agreement in May 1951 and the entry of the People’s Liberation Army in the streets of Lhasa in September 1951.
The meeting also got the feedback from the 10th Central Inspection Team on the ‘rectification work’. 

Lobsang Gyaltsen was seen in the video report, but on closer examination, he was not present.
In a pure Stalinist  way, he was added, the video was morphed (the yellow curtain behind him did not exist in the meeting room).

Another angle shows Che Dralha, the head of the TAR government seating on the left of Wu (it should have been the place of Lobsang Gyaltsen).
Why to show him if he was not present?
This is probably how the Communist Party has always been functioning.

Another MIA
Another senior member was ‘Missing in Action’ (MIA), it is Ding Yexian.
Ding was Executive Deputy Secretary of the TAR Party Committee, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of the Regional Consultative Conference (CPPCC), President of the Party School of the District Party Committee and since 2019 and Director of the Office of the Comprehensive Deepening Reform Committee.
A really important cadre.
On January 23, 2021, he even became deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh TAR People's Congress, along with his colleagues Norbu Thondup and Tang Mingying.
Ding is/was also an alternate member of the 19th Central Committee.
But according to a Chinese website dated February 3: “Alternate member of the Central Committee Ding Yexian, has stepped down as Executive Deputy Secretary of the TAR Party Committee.” (Source: Beijing News Political Affairs).
The website added: “According to the latest information from the ‘Introduction to Leaders’ on the official website of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Region Committee, Ding Ye, the executive deputy secretary of the TAR Party Committee, is no longer among the leaders."

Norbu Thondup

Another Central Committee Alternate Member disappears
In the video report of the meeting of the TAR Standing Committee mentioned above, another senior Tibetan cadre, Norbu Thondup, is also MIA.
A day later, he could not again be spotted in another gathering: the TAR Communist Regional Party held a ‘mobilization meeting’ to implement the rectification work of the 10th Inspection Team of the Central Committee (to maintain political sobriety, improve political positions, take up political responsibilities, resolutely implement the rectification and implement the feedback from the central inspection team).
It was in February 20 in the afternoon.
It was presided over by Wu Yingjie, who is also the head the Leading Group of the 10th Inspection Group of the Central Committee.
Lobsang Gyaltsen was MIA, ditto for Ding Yexian and Norbu Thondup.
The disappearance of three members of the Central Committee is certainly a very serious affair which will need to be followed closely.
All is not well on the Roof of the World.

New Appointments
In the meantime, on February 10, it was announced that Zhuang Yan and Wang Haizhou would no longer serve as Vice Chairmen of the TAR People's Government.

The Tibet Daily’s WeChat official account released the list of removals from the Standing Committee of the TAR People's Congress  on February 10, (the decision had been taken at the 27th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the same day).

Wang Haizhou, new member of the Standing Committee
According to The Paper in Hong Kong: “Zhuang Yan, Wang Haizhou no longer serves as Vice Chairman of the TAR People's Government.”

It indicated a promotion for both cadres;  the next day, Wang Haizhou was appointed as a member of the TAR Standing Committee and Minister of the Propaganda Department.

Xinhua said: “On the afternoon of the 10th [February], the Propaganda Department of the TAR Party Committee held a cadre meeting and announced the decision on the appointment of the main leaders: Comrade Wang Haizhou was appointed member of the Standing Committee of the District Party Committee and Minister of the Propaganda Department.”

Deputy Secretary of the TAR Party Committee Yan Jinhai attended and delivered a speech. Chen Yongqi, member of the TAR Standing Committee and Director of the Organization Department, announced the appointment decision of the main leaders of the Propaganda Department.

Party Committee Standing Committee Member and Minister of Propaganda Department Wang Haizhou made a statement.

Zhuang Yan

As for Zhuang Yan, he is probably stepping in the shoes of Ding Yexian as TAR Executive Deputy Secretary. 

It has to be  noted that 70 years after the so-called 'Peaceful Liberation of Tibet' and as the Communist Party is preparing to celebrate the event, that are only 5 Tibetans out of 14 members of the Standing Committee (if one counts Lobsang Gyaltsen).

Tibet is not really 'liberated'.

 The presence of the PLA
Incidentally, Lt Gen Zhang Xuejie, the Political Commissar of the Tibet Military District and senior most PLA officer in Tibet attended the meeting of the Standing Committee on February 19. 

He is listed No 6 in the protocol, certainly an insult for the Chinese Armed Forces.

Lt Gen Zhang Xuejie, Political Commissar, Tibet Military District

No comments: