The New Students of the Tibetan People

Published in February of 1960 by the Ethnic Publishing House, 民族出版社, is a short book meant to be a photo album commemorating the founding of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

The editor explains to us that the majority of the photos were chosen from among the “the past ten year’s ethnic nationality work exhibition” and that this book is to record this new page in the history of the Tibetan people, to educate the Tibetan people’s own and “our” (Chinese people’s) descendants, they have collected information about the Tibetan system of slavery and the valiant struggle of the Tibetan people.

The editor’s note also includes a summary of the official with regards to Tibetan liberation that also elucidates the source of the book’s title: the need for the peaceful liberation of Tibet, previously a feudal slave society, was due to the region’s inseparable place as a part of China. After liberation, the Tibetan elite, reactionary political clique collaborated with imperialist and foreign reactionaries to break up the motherland and preserve the system of slavery until the armed rebellion in March 1959. The rebellion’s rapid suppression, put the Tibetan people on the path of the new student, under the leadership of the party, in order to thoroughly smash the bonds of the system of slavery, to establish a new Tibet that is democratic and socialist, to turn the Tibetan plateau into a heaven on Earth, democratic reform on a grand scale is carried out.

The document is written in a partially simplified Mandarin and while it is supposed to be a photo album, it does have numerous summaries of situations and concludes with a section on the armed revolt and the conspiracy to commit treason. Notable topics covered in the body of the photo album include recounts of slavery, resolutions for democratic reform, the Three Antis campaign, talks by notable personages at organizing committee meetings, the policy of redemption (as regards the 1955-56 Social Transformation), and “the resolution of the Tibet issue.”

Book Cover

Farmer cheering while celebrating the three antis meeting: a n…

Top left: A notable personage (name included) recounts her own difficulty days of the past as a slave and today’s compassion of the Communist Party leading her and attaining liberation. Top right: A Tibetan Folk Song : The Communist Party Comes, the Bitterness Ends and the Sweetness Begins. Bottom Half: Tibetans celebrating the Lingka Festival

A page from the section on the armed revolt that presents evidence of foreign involvement.