“Why Was Ngapo Jigme, Director of Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan Service, Suddenly Dismissed?” By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost written by Woeser on November 8, 2012 from her home in Lhasa and posted on her blog on November 9, 2012.
The recent sudden dismissal of the head of the Tibetan service of Washington D.C based Radio Free Asia (RFA) is the topic of Woeser’s blogpost. Despite this dramatic event taking place, Tibetan media has been silent on it so far. As Woeser mentions, she has been a regular contributor to Radio Free Asia, bothto the Tibetan service and the Mandarin service for several years now. 
Below Woeser’s post is a translation of a short biography of Ngapo Jigme as published on the Chinese pages of Wikipedia. Finally, for an article by Woeser on the death of Ngapo Ngawang Jigme, Ngapo Jigme’s father (Ngapo is the family name), see this link: http://highpeakspureearth.com/2010/ngapo-ngawang-jigme-the-death-of-an-historical-figure-by-woeser/
Mr. Ngapo Jigme at the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia

“Why Was Ngapo Jigme, Director of Radio Free Asia’s
Tibetan Service, Suddenly Dismissed?”
By Woeser

I was deeply taken by surprise and was shocked to learn that Mr. Ngapo Jigme, the director of Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan service was suddenly dismissed on November 1. As far as I know, Tibetan intellectuals, media professionals, Chinese intellectuals studying the Tibet issue and international Tibet Studies experts, who live abroad, have all expressed that they did not understand what happened and were very surprised.
In 1985 Mr. Ngapo Jigme left Tibet, and worked for His Holiness Dalai Lama and the International Campaign for Tibet. He also studied at the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at University of Virginia. He is well versed in all three languages of Tibetan, Chinese and English, and he possesses the outstanding spirit of an independent intellectual. Since 1996 when the U.S. Congress approved to establish the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia, he had become absolutely the right person for the job and shouldered the important task as the founder. At present, under the 16 year devoted leadership of Mr. Ngapo Jigme, the Tibetan service of RFA, with over 30 journalists and editors, has become an important Tibet-related media, which can be called a shining example in the world. But he was suddenly dismissed without any reasons being given.
I have heard when the person in charge announced the dismissal of Mr. Ngapo Jigme in the presence of the staff of the Tibetan service, he refused to give any reasons for the dismissal. Meanwhile, the security personnel of RFA were ordered to escort Mr. Ngapo Jigme out of the building, and the action itself is tantamount to banishing him from the building. Nobody can understand why Mr. Ngapo, who is upright and has been dedicated to his work, is treated with such humiliation after having worked conscientiously for the media and journalism for 16 years.
I once worked for the media within the system under Chinese Communist Party control, and I knew well the ways how autocratic power works. But it has never occurred to me that, in a democratic society, dismissing one from his post can be done in such an autocratic way as well. The reasons for for the dismissal were neither explained, nor was the character and dignity of the person concerned taken into account.
By the way, I was also dismissed. By coincidence, it also happened after I had worked for 16 years. But at the moment, should I take the opportunity to praise the way in which the Chinese Communist Party authorities dismissed me? It happened in the office of the Party Secretary of TAR Federation of Literary and Art Circles. Smiling, one Tibetan and one Han Chinese official said to me gently, “because of your attitude toward your work, we’ve decided to allow you to resign voluntarily.” At that time I refused to resign on my own initiative, and answered, “I won’t resign on my own initiative, it’s fine for you to dismiss me.” This was handled not so badly as they did not order the security guards of the work unit to escort me out of the building, while leading a big black dog on a leash.
Judging by this −−− viewed from the fact that the person in charge did not give the reasons for the dismissal of Mr. Ngapo, comparatively speaking, the officials of CCP are more frank and honest. On one occasion 8 years ago, they clearly told me that the reason for them to deprive me of my position as the Editor for the journal Tibetan Literature was because I wrote a book and committed “very grave political mistakes.” At the time, the Deputy Director of the General Administration of Press and Publications gave the following explanation: “[The book] takes such serious political standpoints as praising the 14th Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa, and believing in and propagating religion, and the viewpoints [expressed in it] are erroneous. Some compositions, in a certain degree, have already entered into a certain political mistakes…” See, the CCP officials even made their reasons for dismissing me public.
As a listener of the Tibetan service of RFA for many years and also as a columnist who has written for RFA for the past six years, I know well how valuable the free and open platform for speech provided by the Tibetan service of RFA is. While it reports the news about the situation in Tibetan areas in China and Tibetan communities abroad in a timely fashion and truthfully, it upholds the values of an independent, balanced and pluralistic media, and adheres to the principle of freedom of speech and the impartiality of news. It also presents various voices so as to enable a variety of views to be expressed.The reason why the Tibetan service of
RFA has had great influence in Tibetan areas in China is precisely the result of the principle upheld by Mr. Ngapo over the past 16 years. I don’t know whether this is exactly the reason why he was dismissed, and one can only speculate about this. Because if it is the case, then this should be considered as dubious and a disgrace in a democratic society.
His Holiness Dalai Lama has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the truth, and the basis of truth relies on precisely the freedom of journalism. Just as His Holiness stated, “Unfortunately, in certain places in the world, news reports are generally censored and distorted,” and “vigorous censoring of news is immoral.” The autocratic regimes attempting to monopolize truth have always tried every means to control information and to hide the truth. The media under CCP control has always had only one voice, and the media serves as the mouthpiece and propaganda tools for the party. Thus, free media abroad is the irreplaceable channel for Tibetans inside Tibet to gain access to information and truth. In the struggle against autocracy, what we need to guard against the most is exactly using autocratic means to combat autocracy. If anybody wants to change the open and pluralistic Tibetan service of RFA into a propaganda tool and mouthpiece, then, the service will not only lose its current influence, but also seriously undermine the image of His Holiness Dalai Lama and obstruct the democratic process in Tibetan exile communities.
Thus, Radio Free Asia should clearly explain their reasons for dismissing Mr. Ngapo. This is not a personal issue for Mr. Ngapo alone, in reality, this has caused people from all circles to worry about the future of the Tibetan service of RFA. One will also be concerned with the negative impact it has for campaigns for Tibet abroad and the perplexity it has caused for people in Tibetan areas in China, in particular, at the juncture when the current situation in Tibet has never been so severe.
Finally, I would like to express my greatest admiration for and pay my respects to Mr. Ngapo −−− thank you for leading the Tibetan service of RFA for the past 16 years. While the service has provided truthful news for Tibetan listeners and has reported the serious situation in Tibet to the outside world, it has also shown the value of the principle of impartiality of news, balanced news reporting, the supervision of public opinion etc. Mr. Ngapo has made a great contribution to the success of the service, and indeed his achievements are great. I would like to say to you that justice is in the hearts of people, and history will always be restored to its original condition. And all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will see all the truth, the false, the good and the evil.
November 8, 2012, Lhasa

Biography of Ngapo Jigme taken from the Chinese pages of Wikipedia

Ngapo Jigme (1951-): the son of Ngapo Ngawang Jigme, born in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1959 he was transferred to the elementary school attached to the Central Institute for Nationalities in Beijing, and in 1964 he went to study in No. 4 Middle School in Beijing. In 1968 he went to live and work in the Left Banner of Tumed in Inner Mongolia. As a member of the first group of worker-peasant-soldier students, in 1972 he went to study at the Foreign Languages Department, Inner Mongolia Normal College, and upon graduation, he taught at the Lhasa Middle School and Tibet Teacher’s College. In 1978 he was admitted into the Research Institute of the Central Institute for Nationalities in Beijing, and received his M.A. in 1982. Upon graduation, he became the assistant research fellow of Tibet Institute at Central Institute for Nationalities. In 1985 he went abroad on a visit, and in 1987 he studied at Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at University of Virginia. In 1990 he worked at the International Campaign for Tibet. In 1996, Ngapo Jigme became the director of the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia. Ngapo Jigme’s views on the Tibet issue are different from those of the Chinese Communist Party or Tibetan government in exile.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)
【唯色注:这篇英文译文转自high peaks pure earth(高峰净土)网站,感谢翻译。】

6 条评论:

  1. 以下是在Facebook上的留言:

    Chungdak Koren
    We need to know the truth.hope not dirty politics

    Dechen Tashi
    Yes Woeser la,I have been curious about the same.Is it his KUDRUG linage, was it Beijing's invissible influence or is he and does he differ from his father in thought,deed and action? But people who know him seem to have good things to say. God alone knows and I am glad you have brought up the issue. It's always good to have clear picture of important figures who matter to us as Tibetans so we don't get right people wrong and wrong people right .The fact that he is Ngapo's son probably has little to do as an individual where he is on Tibet issue.My personal curiosity has always been not on whose son he is but one that of Ngapo's son.. where does he stand on Tibet issue?

    Tsewang Gyaltsen
    Why in the first place this traitor's son given the post.

    Karma Lodoe
    FA we want justice

    Karma Lodoe
    communist impact

    Ngawang Choephel Drakmargyapon
    I hope RFA will make a statement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thupten T Anyetsang
    If he was ordered to escort from his office by the security personnels immediately after his dismissal, then there got to be some big problem….I am curious to know it..no doubt he is a Ngapo, but not the late Ngapp his Pop we all knew as….and I remember Jigme la worked very hard at the Tibet Campaign office in D.C. as well...

    Tsering Topgyal
    I spent some time with him some years back and was extremely impressed with his views on our people and country,I am disturbed with the brazen nature of his dismissal.

    Chungdak Koren
    Please don't use word traitor

    Chungdak Koren
    Thank you Woeser la your views are always regarded important

    Thupten Wangyal
    I was trying to find it out through a staff member and was told that they don't know the reason either! The Radio Free Asia must come out with a fact statement of whatever the reason may be as this is in USA and not in China!

    Dechen Tashi
    I second Chungdak Koren la in this regard.We must all remember that we aren't playing a video game on line. This is serious.Freedom of speech comes with responsibility.As such, write your thoughts responsibly; my friends.

    Snow Lione
    Worser la you not only always break the silence behalf of our voiceless Tibetans inside Tibet,today you break the silence to outside Tibetan who needed your voice.....you the best that all I can say,thank you

    Tenpa Lobsang
    whether it is bad or good, information must be released on dismissal of Ngapo Jigme from the Director position. could it be the old bad habit of covering up the information!

    Dechen Tashi
    This has created a lot of curiosity among Tibetans who care to know what's going on in our own little community around the world. We deserve to know what the whole deal is about ! Tibetan community shouldn't be just asked to take part in all political protests and be kept away from all other important information and issues like we are too small to know or understand.I hope, we will get to know something soon.This is a matter of great concern for the Tibetans while things are moving so fast and serious right now.My hope and prayer is,it's not about something damaging to Tibetan cause; for Buddha's sake !

    Kalsang Phuntsok
    གཞིས་ལུས་བོད་མའི་དམིགས་བསལ་ཞིང་པའི་ཕ་མ་རྣམས་ལ་བོད་མི་རིགས་རྒྱ་མི་རིགས་མཉམ་དཔུང་པ་འདྲ་བྱས་ནས་འགྲོ་ཐུབ་སླད་རང་གི་བུ་ཕྲུག་ལ་ཐབས་ཤེས་ཅི་ཐུབ་ཀྱིས་ཤེས་ལྡན་མི་སྣ་བཟོ་རྒྱུའི་གཞེན་སྐུལ་གནང་རོགས། སྐབས་དོན་བརྗོད་གཞི་དང་འབྲེལ་བ་མེད་མོད། དེང་སང་རང་ལུས་མེར་བསྲེགས་ཀྱི་ལས་འགུལ་བླ་ན་མེད་པ་ཞིག་གནང་བཞིན་པའི་སྐབས་ཡིན་སྟབས་ལམ་སྟོན་གྱི་གཞེན་སྐུལ་ཀྱང་ནུས་མཐུ་ལྡན་པ་ཞིག་ཡོང་ངེས་རེད། སྐུ་མཁྱེན་ལས་ཀྱི་སྣེ་མོ་རྣམས་ནས་གནས་དོན་འདིའི་ཐོག་དགོངས་པ་བཞེས་རོགས་གནོངས།

    Kalsang Wangdu
    really puzzled

    1. we are waiting for a big scandal to be emerged from all these, i think RFA has done a stupid deed by sacking Jigme

  2. 转Facebook:

    Namkha Drongpa
    It is for the good of rfa and for the interest of the organization.

    Erdeni Batur
    Namkha Drongpa la, could you please elaborate your point

    Ten Nam
    Let us not speculate anything for now. Mr. Jigme and RFA authorities know the best. Let him talk for himself and judge it later.

    1. Ten Nam

      why don't you say the same about Tibet and China, let each side talk for themselves and judge it later. we should always on the weaker side and question the more powerful.

  3. 转high peaks pure earth(高峰净土)这篇帖子下面的留言:

    amkha Drongpa 14/11/2012 02:24
    Whatever, the reason for kicking out Ngapo Jigme, it is a reasonable ground impacting the function and goal of the RFA . It is nothing surprising to escort out an employee, especially with his status to avoid any misuse of official documents and codes. This is a portocol for all organizations if the employee have access to sensitive documents.
    Jigme was appointed as the director, though he was fresh from school and had no administrative experience . Intact, it was at that time even criticized as an attempt to please has father. There are far better candidates but his connection both in Tibet and outside helped him.

    tibet radio 14/11/2012 05:00
    See this. Lobsang Nyendak la is reeducating the staff at RFA.

    kunga Tsering 14/11/2012 13:43
    Whatever the reasons of his dismissal from the post, but concern authority should let know the public the ground realities and truth..

    Ny tibetan 14/11/2012 23:20
    The truth and reason for dismissing Mr. Jigme can only be revealed through honest cooperation of RFA president, Ms.Libby Liu. She has been busy visiting Dharamsala lately and kowtowing to the conservative members of our government. Kalden Lodoe is just a opportunist who doesn’t value fair and balanced news coverage and lack the democratic backbone.

    ny tibetan 14/11/2012 23:23
    I always thought that RFA was free of governmental and personal influence but i guess i was wrong.

  4. I was very sad & shock to learn the news about Mr. Jigme la’s dismissal from RFA. I don’t understand why RFA is refusing to give any explanation. RFA and VOA have very large audiences inside Tibet and people there are taking great risk everyday try to receive the news from the radios. Both organizations command great respect and trust among the Tibetans inside Tibet. I was in Tibet two years ago, one day at a visit to the monastery an elderly monk pulled me aside knowing I was from abroad and said to me :” We Tibetans here are been beating up and killed by Chinese every day, you Tibetan outsides please keep fighting. We know you guys are doing great job, we know, we listen every day.” So Mr. Jigme la’s dismissal from the RFA is not just about his personal & professional issue, this is a big concern of the future of RFA’s news broadcasting quality and the reputation of the station among the audiences. Such a well-respected station cannot handle the issue in such an irresponsible way.

    RFA is funded by U.S. Congress to deliver the freedom and democracy message to the people all over the world who are suppressed by dictatorial regimes. As I believed in the past I hope this entity is not under influence of any third party individuals or organizations. Nor I hope this incident is the result of dirty politics by the RFA Tibetan program’s staffs.

    Ultimately RFA has to give us Tibetan audiences an explanation. We are entitled to know the story & truth behind it. I encourage fellow Tibetans in the states to contact local & state senate and congress offices to call for RFA to be transparent on this issue.

    My parents, many relatives, neighbors and friends inside Tibet are long time audiences of the station, today on behalf of them I would like to say Thank You to Mr. Jigme la for his service and dedication for the Tibetan cause.

    May truth prevails!