Tibetan General Rises from Family of Serfs
   2011-03-28 21:19:58    Xinhua      Web Editor: liuranran

Ngulho Buchung never expected to become a general when he was young.

He was born in the fall of 1959 in a village in Nylam County in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. His family had been serfs for generations until March 1959, when one million serfs in the region were freed.

In January 2009, the regional legislative body decided to designate March 28 as the annual Serfs Emancipation Day to commemorate the end of feudal serfdom in Tibet. For the first time, Ngulho Buchung's family was able to own land, livestock and their own house.

"If there were no emancipation, I might have refused to be born," he said jokingly with a laugh.

According to his mother, his family had to serve food to rebel forces that passed by as they fled after the rebellion on March 10 that year, he said.

"They stole food and even harmed villagers. The People's Liberation Army (PLA), on the other hand, never set foot in our houses, my mom told me. The soldiers just slept in cow sheds while chasing the rebels, and even offered their clothes to villagers during cold days," he said.

Attracted by his mother's stories, Ngulho Buchung wanted to become a soldier. His wish came true in 1975 when he became a member of the Tibetan armed police.

His toughness and diligence led him to become a sharp shooter, a keen detective, and a martial arts champion in the region. He learned Mandarin, calligraphy and even poems from comrades in arms. He later entered the college of armed police forces with a high score.

In 2008, when he was a high-ranking officer in charge of Tibet's border control, his team accepted the task of guarding the Olympic torch as it was carried to the top of Mt. Qomolangma.

For a man who received surgery on one of his knees, it was not easy to climb the mountain, reaching an altitude up to 6,500 meters above sea level.

"It was a huge task. I couldn't help repeating it in my dreams every night during that time," he said. Every morning on the mountain, he had to heat his frozen shoes for half an hour before he could put them on, taking the risk of avalanches while marching.

After guarding the torch to the mountaintop, Wu Yingjie, executive vice chairman of Tibet's regional government, called to congratulate him.

"Both of us shed tears over the phone," he said, "maybe because of too much pressure."

In July 2008, Ngulho Buchung was promoted to major general in the armed police.

"I'm a beneficiary of the PLA. Guarding my motherland makes me energetic, anywhere, at any time," he said.

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