DHARAMSALA, Dec 31: A two-day international seminar, aimed at highlighting the significance of the “1913 Treaty between Mongolia and Tibet
," was held in Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala – the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.
From left: Prof Elliot Sperling of Indiana University, Mr Kelsang Gyatsen, Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Mr Tashi Tsering of Amnye Machen Institute, Mr Sonam Gyaltsen of the College of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah, Prof Tsering Shakya of the University of British Columbia, Prof Jampa Samten of the Central University of Tibetan Studies, Varanasi and Mr Chung Tsering, a researcher at the Department of Education, Central Tibetan Administration during the opening session of the discussion on "1913 Treaty between Mongolia and Tibet" being held in Dharamsala on 30 December 2010 (Photo: Tibet.net)
The event – which was organised by the Department of Information and International Relations – saw the participation of seven experts and scholars, who included, among others, Prof. Tsering Shakya, noted historian and expert on Tibetan studies, Mr Tashi Tsering, noted historian and director of Amnye Machen Institute in Dharamsala, and Prof. Elliot Sperling, Associate Professor of Tibetan Studies, Indiana University.
The treaty – which was signed and sealed by representatives of Tibet and Mongolia in January 1913 – attests to their emergence from under Manchu domination, and begins by confirming that the two nations have been constituted as independent states.
Prof. Sperling, during his session, delved on the international reception and circulation of the treaty, while Prof. Shakya focused made a comparative study of Mongolia and Tibet in their search for nationhood in the early part of the 20th century.
For centuries, Tibet and Mongolia had shared a strong cultural and historical relationship. Following the collapse of the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty in 1911, Tibet and Mongolia declared independence and, subsequently signed a treaty of friendship and recognition of each other’s independence in 1913.
For sometime the existence of the treaty between Tibet and Mongolia, as having been concluded in early 1913, was considered questionable by some writers. Recently, the original Tibetan (but not the Mongol) text of the Tibet-Mongol Treaty of 1913 was rediscovered, making one important part of the original document available to scholars for the first time.
The other speakers – who included Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen, a Member of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Mr Chung Tsering, researcher at the Department of Education and Prof. Jampa Samten of the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Varanasi – highlighted Tibet’s relationship with the Manchu dynasty and Mongolia before and after signing the treaty with Mongolia in 1913.
The latest panel discussion follows one that was held in October earlier this year at Ulaanbaatar, Mongol. The event in October saw all 27 participants -- scholars from Mongolia, India, America, Korea, Canada, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, Holland and Germany – agree that 99 percent of the 1913 treaty between Mongolia and Tibet is factual and official.Tenzin Pema edited this report