All posts by Estelle C.

IATS 2019 – TibArmy Panel

Wed. 10 July 2019, 8.30-12.40


Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales – 65 rue des Grands Moulins – 75013 Paris

Room 3.15

Website of the IATS

Download the IATS programme

The Many Wars of the Ganden Phodrang (1642-1959)

Download the panel’s programme and abstracts

Panel organizers:

Dr Ryosuke Kobayashi, Kyushu University, Japan

Dr Alice Travers, CNRS, CRCAO, France

Organised in the framework of the TibArmy project with the core team and invited participants, this panel studies the numerous wars fought by the Tibetan armies both in internal and international contexts during the Ganden Phodrang period. It seeks to document less-known armed conflicts and shed light on other better-known events through new sources, depicting how battles were then fought; it also analyses the role of wars, be they won or lost, as generating change on four levels: in the development of the Tibetan military institutions themselves; in the development of the Tibetan government; in the links between army and society; in international politics.

Chair: Alice Travers; Discussant: Tashi Tsering Josayma

8:30 Ryosuke Kobayashi, Alice Travers – Panel Introduction

8:40 Federica Venturi – The Fifth Dalai Lama and the Conflict with Bhutan in 1668

9:05 Yuri Komatsubara – Tibetan Policies during the First Sino-Gurkha War (1788-1789)

9:30 Dai Yingcong – The Gurkha Wars and the Shift of the Qing Tibetan Policy during the Qianlong-JiaqingTransition, 1780-1820

9:55 Jeannine Bischoff – Rewarding a Paid Sword – A 1904 Letter of Honour by the bka’ shag for Soldiers Who Fought the British Invaders

10:20 Coffee break

Chair: Ryosuke Kobayashi; Discussant: Tashi Tsering Josayma

10:50 Federica Venturi – Presentation of the TibArmy project: A Timeline of Wars during the Ganden Phodrang Period

11:00 Ryosuke Kobayashi – The Ganden Phodrang Army and the Sino-Tibetan Border Conflict in 1918

11:25 Alice Travers – Borders’ Defence at Wartime: the Role of Local Militia (yul dmag) and Border Guards (sa srung) in the Early 20th Century

11:50 Alex Raymond – The Battle of Chamdo (October 1950)

12:15 Discussion

12:40 Lunch

Around 60 people came to the TibArmy panel on 10 July 2019:

Seminar cycle: The fortresses of Ladakh: evolution of a defensive infrastructure at the interface between the Tibetan and Central-Asian spheres

Conference by Quentin Devers, Wednesday 19 June 2019, 5.30- 7.00 PM, INALCO (room 3.11)

View of the Fortress of Anley, one of the main residences of Sengge Namgyal (1616-1623 / 1624-1642), on the border between Ladakh and Guge (photo by Quentin Devers, 2018)

Ladakh extends over a territory previously divided between the Tibetan and Central-Asian spheres. Because of this particular situation, a wide diversity of groups have inhabited the region: Dards, “Mons”, Turks, Tibetans, Mongols, etc. have left a rich array of archaeological remains for us to study all over the country. Its important mineral resources (gold, iron, copper, chrome) as well as international trade routes have attracted since times immemorial hordes of bandits and armies of all kinds, leading to the development of the densest defensive infrastructure of the Tibetan plateau. This seminar aims at covering the evolution of military architecture in the region, the differences between the fortresses of the numerous cultures represented , and how this diversity enabled the emergence of the famous fortified palaces of Ladakh – the architectural precursors of a number of the great palaces of the Ganden Phodrang such as the Potala.

To see more about the archaeology of Ladakh: