Tibet , Dalai Lama and USA | Ramakrishnan

It is 60 years since a so-called Government-in-Exile, also called as Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), was founded on April 28, 1959, with its Headquarters  in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, India. The 14th Dalai Lama (born as Lhamo Thondup on 6 July 1935),  then aged 24,  had just arrived in NEFA a month earlier on March 30, 1959, and  soon became  CTA’s defacto leader. Hundreds of stories appeared during the last few weeks in the Indian media, as also in the West, as part of an orchestrated campaign, to mark the event with a view to use Tibet as a stick to beat China with, and to keep the issue burning to perpetuate turmoil in Eastern Asia. Already West Asia has been  in turmoil created by US and NATO for long. Certain basic facts were totally suppressed in all the stories on Tibet and Dalai Lama.  We seek to briefly recall some of those events in this series. But before that we shall see the context in which these things need to be re-viewed.

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At a time when there is need to pursue peace in the world, more so in South Asia, there are jingoistic  advocates in India who once again prescribe using the  so-called Tibet card . Typical is the case of  Brahma Chellaney,  a right-wing geostrategist, who  wrote :

“ India’s ASAT test should not obscure the fact that March 31 marked the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s entry into India …. He entered India as tens of thousands died in China’s brutal suppression of an uprising against its occupation of Tibet….Today, Tibet remains at the centre of the India-China divide, fuelling territorial disputes, diplomatic tensions and riparian feuds.

The Dalai Lama is a strategic asset for India, yet current Indian policy doesn’t reflect that….

“ …If Tibet is at the heart of the China-India divide, water is at the centre of the Tibet-India bond. To help curb China’s territorial and riparian revisionism, India must subtly reopen Tibet as an outstanding issue. By recalibrating its Tibet policy, India could elevate Tibet as a broader strategic and environmental issue that impinges on international security and climatic and hydrological stability. More than ASAT ( anti-satellite  weapon )  and other weapons, India needs political will and clarity to deter China.” (The Hindustan Times,  April 1, 2019)

Even so-called Leftwing Liberals are no different. For instance,  Ramachandra Guha recently wrote :

But what should India do in the meanwhile? I think our love and regard for the Dalai Lama should be affirmed not merely by the Indian public but by the Indian government as well. For one thing, he should be awarded the Bharat Ratna, which he deserves more — far more — than many past recipients. For another, on this, the 60th anniversary of his arrival in India, the president of the republic should host an official reception in his honour, with the prime minister as well as leaders of Opposition parties in attendance.

“ I made this second suggestion on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and passed it on to someone who works with the president as well as to someone who is close to the prime minister. …For the Government of India to publicly honour the Dalai Lama would be proper and just. It would also be strategically astute.The time for such (China )  appeasement has now passed. China’s continuing support for Pakistan’s terrorist actions against India surely calls for firmer action on our part…. ( Ramachandra Guha for The Telegraph India, March 30, 2019)

The above views need a separate discussion, but that is later on.  In one word, what both prescribed above would only help to further strain India-China ties.  It is in this context the question of Tibet and Dalai Lama assumes importance.

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The young Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 and had arrived at a place in the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) that has been a centre of  a territorial dispute  between India and China,  and was  one of the political divisions in British India and later  the Republic of India. It was much later on  20 January 1972 that NEFA was named as the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh, later given the status of State on as late as 20 February 1987.  It was all as per a script written and executed by the notorious CIA:  The Indian government immediately took measures to welcome and ensure the protection of Dalai Lama and his party. PN Menon (who had served as India’s Consul General in Lhasa) was also sent along with Assistant Political Officer (APO) to Chuthangmu, a tiny Assam Rifles outpost near Tawang, to do the same. See photo below .

dalai lama young

Photo : Clad in weather-beaten clothes yet instantly recognizable among the small entourage, the Tibetan leader was welcomed by Indian officials.

The CTA  claims to represent the people of the entire Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)  and Qinghai province, as well as two Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Gansu Province and one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province – all of which is termed “Historic Tibet” by the CTA. The media in India and across the Western world is full of news stories and commentaries pouring out sympathy for the Tibetans allegedly oppressed by People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mark the prefix ‘autonomous’ for all the regions. Already they are all autonomous, at least formally.

The foundational truth of US meddling and manipulation, allowed and joined by Indian state, is lost in the flood of information on Tibet, to be precise disinformation. Tibet and Dalai Lama have been a major stumbling bloc between India and China, and need to be re-viewed.

It is a brazen violation of international law, and of Panch Sheel,  that India hosts and sustains  a so-called Government in Exile, CTA, for 60 years and media is full of stories based on falsehood. This is a case of post-truth that began 60 years ago. It is formally claimed that Dalai Lama the monk etc are given asylum on condition that they should not indulge in any political activity. However, the CTA is complete with a Cabinet including Lobsang Sangay – Sikyong , President, and Ministers for Home, Finance, Education, Security,  Information & International Relations, Health etc. They have their official print and electronic media.  All this,  brazenly operating from Indian soil, even while mouthing Panch Sheel.  

Despite all the orchestrated sympathy across the media world, the fact is not a single country recognizes the CAT. Not USA, nor any power in the West, nor India. Not only now, but never was it recognized by any country, nor by UNO. Thus it is not love for Tibetans but meant to harass China.

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Who runs this show, and who funds this fraud?

The funding is huge as acknowledged by pro-CTA agencies. Tsewang Namgyal, who  currently serves on the Board of The Tibet Fund writes:  

“ Central Tibetan Administration serves as the backbone of the Tibet movement. Tibet’s freedom is dependent on the financial viability of the institution. CTA is currently heavily dependent on foreign aid. If we assume that since 1959 CTA received financial assistance from foreign governments, NGOs and individuals to the amount of US$10 million annually that would be approximately US$530 million for the last 53 years. The numbers are huge even in Western standards. Considering that we are heavily dependent on outside financial support… I believe the solution lies in the development of our private sector while also incorporating operational and strategic considerations….”


Of course, it was not $ 10 million per annum, but much more. Like in other matters, Trump originally proposed to cut down Tibet funding, but did not do that. See this latest Report of February 20, 2019:

President Trump “ signed the ‘Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019’ on 15 February which sanctioned the fiscal year 2019 funding for several government departments through September 30, 2019. The Appropriation bill included (not less than) $8 million for the TAR and other Tibetan communities in China; $6 million for Tibetan community in India and Nepal; and $3 million to strengthen the capacity of Tibetan institutions and governance in exile. In addition to the total $17 million listed here, there are also other Tibetan programs from the US government.

“…President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the CTA said: “We remain grateful to the US government and the Congress for their generous and continued financial assistance…”

The funding specifies :  “ not less than $8,000,000” for NGOs to support activities like education, and environmental conservation in  TAR etc. And   “not less than $6,000,000”  for the resilience of Tibetan communities in India and Nepal … and to assist in education and development of the next generation of Tibetan leaders from such communities: Provided, that such funds are in addition to amounts made available in subparagraph (A) for programs inside Tibet.”  


See this earlier report by PTI Washington dated May 26, 2017. It mentions  decades-old American policy of providing financial assistance to the community for safeguarding their distinct identity: The Trump administration now wants other countries to jump in. … Leaders of the Tibetan community in the US …observed that majority of the assistance to the Tibetan people, including for Tibet, so far have been Congressionally driven. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi  expressed concern over the Trump proposal to cut down funding,” Drew Hammill, spokesman for Pelosi, told PTI.”

Why this Tibetan cause? See  the next sentence : “We will continue to engage diplomatically with allies and partners  to advance our US national interests and shared policy priorities,” the official said.

It is a bipartisan policy. It tells of  “Pelosi, who early this month led a high powered Congressional delegation to Dharamshala to meet the Dalai Lama,” in Dharamshala, having said : “ if the US does not speak out for human rights in China, we lose all moral authority to talk about it elsewhere in the world,” Hammill told PTI:   “That includes critical funding through the State Department for important efforts, like those in support of a genuinely autonomous Tibet, that advance and protect America’s interests in the world.”

It is not a new program: “The move to abolish Tibet fund is expected to be widely opposed in the Congress. The US policy towards Tibet is currently driven by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 which was signed by the last Republican President George W Bush.

The Act, among other things, includes US government assistance for NGOs , Voice of America and Radio Free Asia Tibetan-language broadcasting into Tibet; and assistance for Tibetan refugees in South Asia.  It also calls for a scholarship program for Tibetans living outside Tibet; and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) human rights and democracy programmes relating to Tibet.   (PTI  dated May 26, 2017)


 The above  were all  instruments used earlier to topple USSR. Before this Act  of  2002, as we shall see below, it was CIA that funded CTA etc. In addition to this, the USAID manages provision of this support out of its India office. According to a 2015 CRS (USA)  report, in 2014, the total financial assistance to the Tibetan cause was more than $24 million. The funding originates with the US government and is being routed through USAID.  This level of aid was officially and openly extended every year for decades. This is apart from official as well as   clandestine funding by governments and several agencies including NGOs  of USA , Europe, Australia  etc. It is an under-statement as per Wikipedia : “However, according to Michael Backman, these sums are “remarkably low” for what the organisation claims to do, and it probably receives millions more in donations. The CTA does not acknowledge such donations or their sources.” It is not a small sum, given that the Tibetan exile community is small in numbers. Besides USA and West, India provides bulk of funding, besides logistical and infrastructural support to CTA, which not a single country recognizes.

Obviously it is meant only to harass China , PRC. See how CTA is linked up with the interests of   imperialists and their India compradors: “…it will be still critical to align our interests with our foreign government supporters like India and the United States. ” (Tsewang Namgyal, cited above)

USA which butchered  millions of people for decades  across the world through perpetual wars seeks to work for human rights in China! And NATO and India forces join forces in these crimes.

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Wikileaks  about The Dalai Lama

Wikileaks brought out many skeletons in the US cup-board, and sections of Indian media reported them too. But little was published with respect to Tibet-Dalai lama-CIA-India nexus. A rare report is : The curious case of Establishment 22 , published in the Hindustan Times dated  Nov 15, 2009. In it journalist Amitava Sanyal revealed that although Establishment 22 was ‘supposed to be a group of volunteers’, in practice the Tibetan children weren’t given a choice.  How the Indian state worked with CIA , from the days of progressive, secular  Jawaharlal Nehru and  Indira Gandhi to Rightist Hindutva vadis Vajpayee and  Modi can be understood from the Report. Also can be seen how the Indian state used these dubious armed forces to suppress domestic dissent in India.  Given below are extracts from it :

For 47 years, India has kept secret an elite regiment of Tibetan commandos. They fought gallantly in the big wars, but their valour cannot be openly recognized.

It’s not easy to find Radug Ngawang’s house among the maze of narrow lanes in Majnu ka Tilla, the bustling Tibetan settlement by the Yamuna in north Delhi. As we get closer, some people offer us directions. After all, the 83-year-old Ngawang is known within the community as one of the handful of bodyguards who accompanied the Dalai Lama when he fled to India in 1959.  What they probably don’t know is that he was also an elite commando trained and armed by the CIA. And that for a decade and a half he was first a soldier and then leader of a top-secret Indian regiment that was raised exactly 47 years ago yesterday. Ngawang was a founding member of what, in grand government euphemism, is known as Establishment 22.

The story of this still-secret regiment, however, reads like a set of Catch 22 situations.  Though it was raised to fight the Chinese army in Tibet, it has fought in several theatres of war except that one. It’s so classified a set-up that even the army may not know what it’s up to — it reports directly to the prime minister via the directorate general of security in the cabinet secretariat…all school-passing Tibetan children not making a certain grade are still expected to join it.

Jawaharlal Nehru took the decision to raise the force on his birthday in 1962. It was also the day the war with China resumed on the eastern front after a brief lull. On the advice of Intelligence Bureau founder-director Bhola Nath Mullick and World War II veteran Biju Patnaik, Nehru ordered the raising of a Tibetan guerrilla force that could engage the Chinese in the uber-tough terrains of the Himalayas.

Sitting in his house on the Yamuna, Ngawang says that it was early 1963 when the first batch of about 12,000 Tibetans was brought to Chakrata, 100 km from Dehradun. Former armyman Sujan Singh Uban was the first inspector-general tasked with turning these rugged highlanders into fierce fighters — with substantial help from the CIA. The group took its intriguing name after the 22 Mountain Regiment that Uban had fought for during WWII.

Since then, the regiment — also called the Special Frontier Force (SFF) — has participated with exemplary skill in Operation Eagle (securing Chittagong hills during the Bangladesh War of 1971…Operation Bluestar (clearing Amritsar’s Golden Temple in 1984), Operation Meghdoot (securing the Siachen glacier in 1984) and Operation Vijay (war with Pakistan at Kargil in 1999). Some reports later claimed that SFF’s mandate had been changed to include anti-terrorist operations. ( though officially denied.)

The total number of soldiers, though, has changed — swelling to about 20,000 around 1970 and then whittling down to below 10,000. It’s difficult to know the exact count at present because of the tight lid of secrecy. The lid was, however, blown in 1978. Indian newspapers reported that an electronic intelligence machine passed on by the CIA and mounted atop Nanda Devi in 1965 to track Chinese missile tests had gone missing. The bigger worry was over the plutonium generator that powered the machine. As Prime Minister Morarji Desai assured a worried Parliament on nuclear safety, the mention of SFF, that had mostly manned the operation, slipped out.

 (Hindustan Times dated  Nov 15, 2009)

Child conscripts

For a more personal sense of how it feels for a Tibetan orphan to be forced into conscription we can read Tashi Dhundup’s account on the Tibetan blog ‘Where Tibetans Write’:

“While at school at the Central School for Tibetans in Mussoorie, my classmates and I used to sing a song that went, “Chocho mangmi la madro, haapen bholo yoki rae”, which translates to “O brother don’t go to the army, they will make you wear those loose half-pants”. Although we sang this song in every grade, it was only years later that the true meaning of those words finally dawned on me. Each year as the seniors graduated, we would see trucks waiting at the school gate – Indian Army trucks, all set to cart many of the graduating students off to the barracks for training. At the time I was confused, and wondered why these new graduates were not simply going home.” It is clear that for the Tibetan Children, particularly the orphans entrusted to the Tibetan Children’s Village schools, graduation was not a time of celebration. Having been sent to the army, these orphans were then sent into war with the Dalai Lama’s consent. In the 1971 war in East Pakistan,190 of these Tibetan ‘soldiers’ were injured and 56 were killed. Funding for schools meets this purpose !

A document which is a MUST-READ for anyone who thinks they know, or would like to know, the truth about the Dalai Lama is the US State Department publication ‘Foreign Relations of the United States 1964 – 1968 Volume XXX’. Part of it is document 342, a memorandum from the CIA to the 303 committee from 26 January 1968 (See image below).  Following are a few glimpses of the same. Below is an image of a document about CIA links. There are such reports aplenty, brought out by Wikileaks, and those de-classified by USA.


The document clearly states that:

The Tibetan paramilitary unit, a remnant of the 1959 resistance force, is dispersed in 15 camps. The Tibetan leadership views the force as the paramilitary arm of its “government-in-exile”. The CIA, together with its Indian equivalent the RAW, and the Tibetan Resistence fighters Chushi Gangdruk, formed ‘Establishment 22’ in 1962. There can be no doubt that it is ‘Establishment 22’ that the CIA are here referring to as the ‘paramilitary arm of the Tibetan Government in Exile’.

Furthermore, although nominally part of the Indian army, history shows who really commands Establishment 22. In 1971, when a war with Pakistan loomed, Indira Gandhi, the PM, sent a letter asking if Establishment 22 would go to war for India: “We cannot compel you to fight a war for us… It would be appreciated if you could help us fight the war for liberating the people of Bangladesh.” It was only when the Dalai Lama gave his consent that the force was mobilised and began operations against Pakistan… Clearly, Establishment 22 is the Dalai Lama’s secret army, supplied with fresh recruits from the Tibetan orphans as revealed in the Wikileaks cables.

See Michael Backman’s excellent article on the Dalai Lama’s Nepotism, and also his book ‘The Asian Insider’:  the Dalai Lama appointed his elder sister, Tsering Dolma, to manage the funds donated for the welfare of the Tibetans orphans. A western visitor to the orphanage described the conditions she found there:

‘Some one thousand refugees, mainly children, lived there. Two hundred boys slept in one room, arranged with bunk beds all around the walls and with mattresses covering the floor…The girls slept in smaller rooms in similar conditions. Overcrowding was rife and of course infections spread like wildfire. Tibetan children were used to the relatively germ-free conditions of the Tibetan plateau and were vulnerable to the diseases of the Indian plains especially while travelling across them to reach Dharamsala. They had no immunity to the diseases of a hot climate. Many children died during a measles outbreak and from hepatitis from infected water. Most children suffered from scabies, eye and ear infections, worms, dysentery. Many got pneumonia and other respiratory infections.’

She found Dalai Lama’s sister’s attitude to the orphans heartbreaking: ‘Mrs Tsering Dolma was most concerned lest Westerners who occasionally visited showed too much affection to the children.’

See this on his Nazi Connections:

“Throughout his life the Dalai Lama has had close associations with many Nazis, including Bruno Beger, who was convicted for his ‘scientific research’ at Auschwitz; and Miguel Serrano, head of the Nazi Party in Chile and the author of several books that elevate Hitler to a god-like status. As a child he was under the tutelage of Heinrich Harrer – a former sergeant in the SS, Hitler’s most loyal soldiers – who for some years in Tibet before the Chinese occupation taught the young Dalai Lama about the outside world….Heinrich Harrer … became the Western guru of Tibet’s young 14th Dalai Lama … The 85 year old Austrian has been confronted with a terrible secret from his past: that he was a member of Hitler’s SS.”


Wikileaks on  Shift in Dalai Lama’s strategy

See this report by Jason Burke in Delhi, dated 16 Dec 2010 in theguardian.com titled :  WikiLeaks cables: Dalai Lama called for focus on climate, not politics, in Tibet.  How environmental issues, like human rights,  are made part of imperialist global strategy can also be seen in this.

“ The Dalai Lama told US diplomats last year that the international community should focus on climate change rather than politics in Tibet because environmental problems were more urgent, secret American cables reveal. The exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader told Timothy Roemer, the US ambassador to India, that the “political agenda should be sidelined for five to 10 years and the international community should shift its focus to climate change on the Tibetan plateau” during a meeting in Delhi last August…

“ Roemer speculated, in his cable to Washington reporting the meeting, that “the Dalai Lama’s message may signal a broader shift in strategy to reframe the Tibet issue as an environmental concern”.  In their meeting, the ambassador reported, the Dalai Lama criticised China’s energy policy, saying dam construction in Tibet had displaced thousands of people and left temples and monasteries underwater….

“ The cables also reveal the desperate appeals made by the Dalai Lama for intervention by the US during unrest in Tibet during spring 2008. As a heavy crackdown followed demonstrations and rioting,  he pleaded with US officials to take action that would “make an impact” in Beijing. At the end of one 30-minute meeting, a cable reports that the Dalai Lama embraced the embassy’s officials and “made a final plea”…..

The US officials concluded that “while the [government of India] will never admit it”, New Delhi’s “balancing act with India’s Tibetans [would] continue for the foreseeable future, with the caveat that a rise in violence – either by Tibetans here or by the Chinese security forces in Tibet – could quickly tip the balance in favour of the side with greater public support”.



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Anti-China political activities are common

It is claimed that Dalai Lama is not an official of CTA and that he relinquished all political activities since a few years. He was however defacto in-charge of CTA althrough, with proxies. For instance : Notable past members of the Cabinet include Gyalo Thondup, the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother (see photo below), who served as Chairman of the Cabinet and as Minister of Security, and Jetsun Pema, the Dalai Lama’s younger sister, who served variously as Minister of Health and of Education.

See this Report of Times of India, 31 March 2017, how brazenly anti-China political activity is carried on in India :

“ DEHRADUN: Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, who is in Dehradun on a five-day official visit, interacted with members of the substantial Tibetan community in the region, and visited schools run by the community on Friday. Sangay, who is referred to as Sikyong (political head) of the community…explained the Tibetan Kashag’s (cabinet’s) flagship,  five-fifty strategy to resolve the Tibet issue.

“The five-fifty is a win-win strategy as it calls for renewed efforts to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people in the next five years while strategising to strengthen and sustain the Tibetan movement over the next fifty years,” Sangay said.”

The activity is there in South India too as can be seen here :

“ In early December 2012, I had an opportunity to visit the Tibetan settlements of Bylakuppe and Mundgod in south India (both in Karnataka).  I had a day-long meeting with Mr. Pema Delek (Chairman of FTCI), Mr. Tashi Wangdu (CEO of FTCI) and few of their colleagues in Byllakuppe. I was impressed by their dedication. However, it appears that their structure did not encourage accountability, irrespective of how well and poorly the management performed. ” (Tsewang Namgyal, cited above)

Dalai Lama has been claiming he is not working  for independence from china but only wanted some form of autonomy.  The anti-China strategic objectives, however, can  be seen in this  Report :

“ From a pure financial standpoint, I believe with all our efforts, it is likely that CTA will still be dependent on foreign aid and support. Our exile population is relatively small with a large segment made up by monks and nuns… CTA by itself will find it extremely challenging to generate enough income to support itself. Nor should it try, as then CTA would lose focus  from its core mission. While remaining grateful to outside support for their generosity, I believe we Tibetans should also feel confident that our contribution to the world, especially in the promotion of peace is priceless. In other words, the US$500 million + investment in CTA has paid off many, many times.

Finally, for CTA to achieve her strategic goal to bring freedom to Tibet, it is critical that our interests are aligned with the Chinese people as much as possible. Here, I give much credit to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and the current leadership for their efforts….Unless we are able to garner greater understanding and support from the Chinese people, it will be extremely difficult to achieve our goal whether genuine autonomy within China or independence. We should always remember that finally our goal is not for CTA to become financially sustainable or increase the number of supporters but to bring freedom to Tibet at the earliest.”

(Tsewang Namgyal, cited above. He  is an MBA graduate from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and holds a BA from Dickinson College. He currently serves on the Board of The Tibet Fund.)

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This is a continuation of CIA’s decades-old program to destabilize China.

Those well versed with USA’s regime change policy across the world can see its real import. CIA’s role is well known to Indians but they do not  speak of its role within India. Dalai Lama’s arrival in India was a fall-out of such a conspiracy against PRC. It was not a non-violent Buddhist monk who arrived in India.  See this extract from a Wikipedia article :

CIA’s Tibetan program was a nearly two decades long covert operation consisting of “political action, propaganda, paramilitary and intelligence operations” based on U.S. Government arrangements made with brothers of the Dalai Lama, who himself was not initially aware of them. The goal of the program was “to keep the political concept of an autonomous Tibet alive within Tibet and among several foreign nations”.

“ Although it was formally assigned to the CIA alone, it was nevertheless closely coordinated with several other U.S. government agencies such as the Department of State and the Department of Defense.

“ Previous operations had aimed to strengthen various isolated Tibetan resistance groups, which eventually led to the creation of a paramilitary force on the Nepalese border consisting of approximately 2,000 men. By February 1964, the projected annual cost for all CIA Tibetan operations had exceeded US$1.7 million.

The program ended after President Nixon visited China to establish closer relations in 1972. The Dalai Lama criticized this decision, saying it proved wholeheartedly that the US never did it to help the people of Tibet.”  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_Tibetan_program)

Did the program really come to an end? We have seen above Trump’s Tibet funding; that it had not ended as mentioned by Wikipedia here but continued also in OTHER ways and forms.  The objective was not to help Tibet, but to make use of that issue to counter China and communism. India was roped into the world strategy of USA.  And the means were not non-violent.

Chinese-Indian relations also played an important role in framing the CIA’s operations. Due to Tibet’s geographic location between the two countries, it was strategically important. The CIA released numerous reports assessing relations…. Following the month-long Sino-Indian War of 1962, the CIA developed a close relationship with Indian foreign intelligence services in both training and supplying agents in Tibet.

The CIA worked to strengthen the Tibetans against the Chinese communist efforts. To do so, the United States planned to issue asylum to the Dalai Lama and his supporters. Some resistance fighters took their own lives when captured by the Chinese to avoid torture. The Tibetan resistance was promised weaponry and resources from the West to continue their resistance against the Chinese. …”  (same source)

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Thus dalai Lama’s arrival in India was very much a  part of US global Strategy.

The Dalai Lama was part of a CIA-backed armed revolt against PRC. China tried to go slow  on reforms, but CIA was bent on precipitating the crisis.  The Wikipedia in a well-annotated article says:

“ In a memorandum from July 1958, the CIA described the growing resistance to the Chinese in Tibet. The memo noted, “During the past two and one half years, resistance has hardened and grown despite Chinese countermeasures that include military force as well as partial withdrawal of Chinese cadres and postponement of ‘reforms’ and other programs leading toward socialization”  In the early 1950s, the CIA inserted paramilitary teams from the Special Activities Division (SAD) to train and lead Tibetan resistance fighters against the People’s Liberation Army of China….


Photo:     Gyalo Thondup, the second-eldest brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, also known as Tenzin Gyatso . He was a “top asset” of the CIA,  and became the first  Chairman of the CTA  Cabinet.

“ With the help of Gyalo Thondup, the Dalai Lama’s brother was exiled to India and initiated contact with the Americans. Gyalo reached out to the Americans who were intrigued with the opportunity to create a ‘running sore for the reds,’ as a part of its global anti-communist campaign. These contacts made by the Dalai’s brother eventually led to a more than two decade long campaign against the Chinese government supported by the CIA.  His American contacts enabled Tibetans to go over first to Saipan and then to the U.S. for training. They were trained for five  months on combat maneuvers. These teams selected and then trained Tibetan soldiers in the Rocky Mountains of the United States; as well as at Camp Hale in Colorado. The SAD teams then advised and led these commandos against the Chinese, both from Nepal and India. In addition, (CIA-linked) SAD Paramilitary Officers were responsible for the Dalai Lama‘s clandestine escape to India, narrowly escaping capture by the Chinese government….”

“India had provided a link for United States’ support to the Tibetan resistance.”

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The CIA had helped an armed  revolt against China . 

“ In 1955, a group of local Tibetan leaders secretly plotted an armed uprising, and rebellion broke out in 1956, with the rebels besieging several Chinese government agencies, killing hundreds of Chinese government staff, and killing many Han Chinese people.  In May 1957, a rebel organization and rebel fighting force were established and began exterminating communist officials, discombobulating communication lines, and bombarding institutions and Chinese army troops deployed in the region.  … It was in the shared interest of both Tibet and the United States to limit the power of the Chinese within Tibet’s borders. Americans thought that this would be a great opportunity to prevent the spread of Communism throughout Southeast Asia. Starting in 1956, the CIA initiated a large scale clandestine operation against the communist Chinese.  During December 1956, the Dalai Lama had left Tibet to attend a Buddhist celebration in India.

“…Because they viewed Chinese as a direct threat to their religion, they viewed animal life as more sacred than the life of the Chinese communists against whom they rebelled.  In late 1958… the CIA trained more Tibetans at Camp Hale with a total of 259 Tibetans trained over five years in tactics representative of guerrilla warfare. The CIA established a secret military training camp called Camp Hale, located near Leadville, Colorado, where the Tibetans were trained to sabotage operations against the Communist Chinese. One of the reasons for the location of Camp Hale was its elevation–10,000 feet above sea level. The altitude preference was thought to mimic the terrain and climate of the Himalayas.  The camp shut down in 1966, despite the conclusion of program training occurring already in 1961.”  (Same source)

(The author is a political commentator. He contributed a few articles to countercurrents.org)


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