Thursday, December 24, 2009

Traitor? Patriot? Traitor? Patriot? Who the hell was Ngabo?

Is anyone else out there confused or offended by the glorious obituaries coming from Dharamsala about the death of Ngabo Ngawang Jigme, the man who signed the 17-Point Agreement with China? You're not alone.

Dharamsala mourned for him, calling him "honest and patriotic." If Ngabo was a patriot, then who is a traitor? If Ngabo was always honest, does that make the 17-Point Agreement a legitimate treaty?

Political relativism taken to this extreme is destructive to our history and our future. It is too much of a luxury to overlook someone's enormous political blunders simply because he had later committed acts of modest patriotism.

While it is important to recognize and appreciate what Ngabo may have done to preserve Tibetan culture under Chinese rule, it is equally important to shun him for signing the agreement that gave China a semblance of legality in annexing Tibet.

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