A Short History of Tibet

A Short History of Tibet

A Short History of Tibet

A Short History of Tibet

Excerpt

Listening to the debate on Tibet at the 14th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in October 1959 1 was struck by the need for a guide to Tibetan history which had regard not only to its continuous development over thirteen centuries but also to the Tibetan background and character and to the Tibetan point of view. That is what I try to offer in this book. It is meant for the general reader and is, therefore, not weighted with footnotes and detailed references but I hope that anyone who wants to check the evidence for statements in it will find no difficulty in doing so from the bibliography at the end.

Conditions and institutions in Tibet are described as I saw them before the end of 1950. The use of the past tense has been imposed by the Chinese Communist invasion and occupation of the country which introduced sweeping changes and culminated in the tragic events of March 1959 and the abolition of the long-established form of government.

Tibetan words and names are rendered phonetically. Transliteration of the original spelling should be unnecessary for students of Tibetan and would only confuse the general reader.

I have enjoyed the help of several Tibetan friends in many matters and I am also grateful to Sir Olaf Caroe, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., a former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, and Mr. Marco Pallis, author of Peaks and Lamas and an expert on Tibetan life and religion, who were kind enough to read the manuscript and who gave me valuable advice. Many of their suggestions have been embodied in the book; such mistakes as there may be are my own.

November, 1961. H.E.R.

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