Tuesday, July 19, 2011
A True Vajra Hell on Earth-a Tibetan Prison
Tibetan Prison Langzisha
10 Feb 2008
At the north end of Bargor Street in the old town of Lhasa, adjacent to Jokhang Temple, there stands a three storey building in typical Tibetan style.
Covering an area of 720 square metres, the building was fist erected in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama as a government headquarters of Lhasa, but was late turned into one of the most terrifying prisons in human history. This is the infamous Langzisha Prison.
According to the recount by some Chinese journalists who a few years ago were granted a special admission to the deserted prison compound, when in a beautiful sunny day they ascended to the first floor and pushed open the front gate, they felt as though they had stepped into a ghostly world where the sun never shines and air is forever damp, chilly and mouldy.
The very first thing that attracted their attention was a well from which they could peer into underground cells in which important political foes of Dalai Lamas were held. In that dark region there are five chambers, each are so designed that the ceilings are so low that the inmates were never be able to stand straight, breath dry and clear airs and saw each other's face. A former ward, a old Tibetan man in his 70s, told the visitors that those deemed to committed serious offences would be kept in fetters made an entire tree and often weighted up hundreds kg, and have their legs locked by one log. No one could turn around his body without the corporation of all other four men.
Among the torturing tools equipped the tiny space, there is a copper horse, that could be heated by building a fire in its hollow tummy using dried horse manure or yak dung, and the prisoner who was made to ride on the horse would soon be scorched to death.
The entrance floor contains nine cells, in each cell there stand wooden columns, and on the columns the bite marks are still visible which were left by the hungry inmates. According to the records on various documents, in this Tibetan jail, starvation could not even be remotely considered as abuse comparing to the other inhuman treatments the inmates received which include serving nose, tongue, ears, sexual organs, ripping off heart, peeling off skin, burning alive in a large pot with boiling oil, all being performed under the authority of Dalai Lamas. Some would have their tummy slit open with intestines exposed while being made to march along Bagor Street before execution; others would be put on a heavy stone cap until their eyeballs budged out of sockets and gouped out by the tip of a sharp knife, mainly for crimes of being too poor to afford their taxes to land owners, monasteries and Dalai government.
Before 1959, aristocrats landlords and Lamaist monasteries in Tibet were free to make their own laws and set up their own courts. The laws under Dalai Lama prescribed that people were divided into nine classes, and the Thirteen Codes further declares "men are classified in hierarchy, therefore men's lives do not have an equal value". It states that the value of the life of a high ranking man equals to gold weighted as heavy as his corpse, but if an aristocrat kills a man in the bottom level of the social order he only needs to offer the victim's family a straw rope. The Article 7 in the Code 16 further affirms that it is considered as a horrendous crime and punishable by hamstring breaking, tongue cutting, eye gouging, hands chopping or immediate execution if persons of lower status revolt against persons of higher status; and that when a lord hurt his servant, the lord should find a doctor for his victim, but when a servant caused the injury of his master, his hands or legs must be chopped off. Those lived in Tibet during the years when Dalai Lama ruled the place can still recall how common it was to spot the locals without hands, arms or legs in Lahsa streets.
The thousand year old Tibetan legal system were partly originated from its ancient harsh custom, partly borrowed from caste structure in India, and later further influenced by the cruel and primitive slavery rules of Mongol's Yan and Manchurian's Qing.
In reality, the situation in old Tibet was much more brutal and inhuman than that in above mentioned societies, for the reason that the Dalai government allowed a due legal system, one applied to religious sector, and the other for the rest in the community, which means lamas were practically above the common laws. When the religion in question is a secret and dangerous voodoo cult, imagine the implication to the social life.
It is known that during his time in Tibet, 14th Dalai Lama routinely held mantra chanting rituals in his private praying hall, and prior to each of such session, there would be an instruction to Langzisha Prison ordering it to provide the sacrificial articles including human skulls, human leg bones, whole human skin, whole child corpse, as well as side drums covered with boy's skin, trumpet made of girl's femur, all had to be freshly prepared.
According to the recollection of a former serf Gesangpingcuo, a boy named Pubu lived in Bagor Street was kidnapped during such occasion, and when his father hurried to the prison it was all too late: the boy had already been crafted with knifes into a sacrificial articles. Reportedly in year 1948 along, Langzisha Prison carried out man hunting sessions three times and snatched 21 low status yet utterly innocent men, women and children for their fresh fleshes, bones, organs and skins.
The following is the content of a letter currently kept in Tibetan Museum for public viewing, which was initially sent from 14th Dalai Lama's Kashag government to the head of the Langzisha Prison:
For propitiating the Goddess, we need you to prepare following items:
4 newly cut human heads, 10 fresh human intestines, clean human blood, contaminated human blood, soil on ruin site, widow's menstrual blood, blood from leprosy patients, flesh from human and various animals, hearts from human and various animals, blood from various animals, yin-yang water, earth in windy spot, thron grown in shady site, waste from dogs and human, as well as butcher's boots. The above items must be forward forth tomorrow.
Fortunately, this Vajra hell on earth was shut down on 20 March 1956 by Chinese authority when the millions of Tibetan serfs were declared to be free with equal human rights to landlords and lamas. The building had been kept out of the tourist eye ever since for nearly half a century, probably for avoiding to embarrass Dalai and other former ruling lamas too much. Until very recently, many in the Chinese governments apparently still held a hope that one day the 14th Dalai Lama might change his attitudes towards his fellow countrymen: the former Tibetan serfs who comprised 95 percent of the Tibetan population, the Chinese Muslims who formed 50 percent of the population in the regions where Dalai believes only ethnic Tibetans have right to live, and the Han people who are the main body of the Chinese nation. However, so far Dalai Lama has not altered his social and ethnic discrimination stance, a general attitude he inherited from his teachers Bruno Beger and Heinrich Harrer, the convicted nazies, and it doesn't seem he ever will.