Every year, May 23rd is a day that authorities in Tibet orchestrate celebrations while Tibetans in general either mourn or protest the day. The Agreement ‘signed’ in 1951, soon after the Chinese army defeated Tibetan forces in Chamdo, is the only document that cedes Tibet’s sovereignty to China. Tibetans state that it was sealed with a forged Tibetan government seal that was made in China and under threat of further military assault. The non compliance of the agreement by the Chinese side in the mid 1950s, most notably in their attacks on the monasteries and the dismantling of Tibetan social structure in Kham and Amdo areas led to the 1959 uprising in Lhasa against the Chinese army. While China holds up the agreement as a document that legitimizes it’s rule in Tibet, many point out that the very need for such a document was proof that Tibet was independent prior to the Chinese invasion.
Kunleng invites Bhuchung Tsering, Vice President of International Campaign for Tibet and noted Tibetan writer Jamyang Norbu, critic of the Tibetan government’s Middle Path policy in dealing with China. To discuss the controversial Agreement