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1934 Khamba rebellion
Date 1934
Location Kham (Xikang province)
Result Rebellion aborted
Khamba rebels led by the Pandatsang family Tibet Tibet (1912–1951)
Sichuan clique
Communist Party of China
Commanders and leaders
Pandastang Togbye
Pandatsang Rapga
Tibet (Regent of Tibet)
Sichuan Warlord Liu Wenhui[1]
Khamba tribesmen TibetTibetan Army
Sichuan army
Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army

The 1934 Khamba rebellion was a rebellion in the western regions of Kham in Xikang against the Tibetan Government and the Sichuan Warlord Liu Wenhui.[2] It consisted of Khamba tribesmen led by the Pandatsang family; two brothers of the family, Pandatsang Togbye and Pandatsang Rapga, led the revolt.

Revolt[edit | edit source]

The Pandatsang were an extremely rich Khampa trading family with enormous influence in Kham. The family leader was Nyigyal. The family's servants often said "Sa spang mda' gnam spang mda'." "The earth is Pangda's, the sky is Pangda's." and "I am connected to Pangda, what are you going to do to me?". They were behind the rebellion against Lhasa in 1934 and the Tibet Improvement Party.[3]

The mastermind of the rebellion was Pandastang Togbye of the rich and powerful Kham Pandatsang family.[4]

Pandatsang Rapga was the brother of Pandastang Togbye (also spelled Topgyay), who was a great friend of Thubten Kunphela who was from Nyemo county located between Shigatse and Lhasa, U-Tsang. Partly out of anger over Kunphela's fall from power after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, in 1934 Togbye organized a revolt against the Tibetan government in areas the areas they controlled in the western part of Kham. (that was about one third of the whole Kham region). His brother had military control while Rapga was more of a "scholar". They aimed to ultimately attack Lhasa, and had to take Chamdo first.[5]

He did so in the belief that many monks from Kham originating in the large monasteries near Lhasa would support him in this. The Tibetan government knew that the rebellion originated from within Kham. The residence of his family in Lhasa was confiscated, but ultimately negotiations ensued. The reason was that the family was the main exporter of Tibetan wool abroad, and any further incident could affect government funds. As a result of the outcome of the negotiations, the members of the family did not persecute the rebellion further.

While the Kham rebels were escaping from the Tibetan government forces, they were forced into battle against both the Sichuan warlord Liu Wenhui and the Chinese Communist party forces which were on the Long March.

Rapga fled from Kham to Kalimpong via Kanting and Nanking after the revolt failed.[6]

Grey Tuttle, an Assistant Professor of Modern Tibetan studies, believes that it was possible that Rapga "was a devout believer in the political ideology of Sun Yat-sen and had translated some of Sun's more important writings into Tibetan" during this rebellion.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Arpi, Claude. "The Karma of Tibet". pp. 95–96. http://www.claudearpi.net/maintenance/uploaded_pics/TheKarmaofTibet.pdf. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  2. Michel Peissel, Les Cavaliers du Kham, guerre secrète au Tibet, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1972,
  3. Epstein, Lawrence, ed (2002). Khams Pa Histories: Visions of People, Place and Authority: PIATS 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000. Brill's Tibetan Studies Library, Volume 2/4 (illustrated ed.). Brill. p. 105. ISBN 90-04-12423-3. https://books.google.com/books?id=MJ-dCe_MppgC&pg=PA105. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  4. Melvyn C., Goldstein (1989). A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State. 1. University of California Press. p. 450. ISBN 978-0-520-91176-5. https://books.google.com/books?id=Upwq0I-wm7YC&pg=PA450. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  5. Patterson, George Neilson (1990). Requiem for Tibet. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-85410-111-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=bU9xAAAAMAAJ. 
  6. Arpi, Claude. "The Karma of Tibet". pp. 96. http://www.claudearpi.net/maintenance/uploaded_pics/TheKarmaofTibet.pdf. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  7. Tuttle (November 2007). Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China. Columbia University Press. pp. 152–. ISBN 978-0-231-13447-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=KlOEi9C4T3QC&pg=PA152. 

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

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