When Tibet Worked for the CIA

Tibet’s secret army that the CIA trained and sponsored

The Tibetan people have a reputation of being devout pacifists, a nation of gentle and benign race who are victims of an aggressor. In fact, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end China’s domination of Tibet. But non-violence has not always been the Tibetan people’s preferred strategy and only a few know of Tibet’s secret war which the Dalai Lama’s brother, together with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), waged against China.

This is a story that portrays a very different Tibet and a very different breed of Tibetan leadership. This story speaks of how the Tibetan leadership is completely capable of espionage, chicanery and most surprising of all, violence. ‘India And The Secret War of Tibet’ reveals how the Tibetan people were recruited to fight America’s proxy war and how they were recruited, trained, funded, used and ultimately betrayed.

 


 

India and the Secret War in Tibet

DNA India [Sunday, April 2, 2017. 08:00am]

By Ananth Karthikeyan

(DNA – Iftikhar Gilani) The mystical Shangri-La

India actively collaborated in a US effort to destabilise China-occupied Tibet until the changed geopolitics blunted the project

The late 1940s saw the rise of the Communist rule in China, a frightening development for the US bloc. John Prados’ “Presidents’ Secret Wars” and John Kenneth Knaus’ “Orphans of the Cold War” and former IB chief BN Mullick’s book “My years with Nehru” details the US operations to destabilise the Chinese occupation of Tibet, which was violently annexed in 1950. Thousands of bitter Tibetans were recruited by the CIA in Sikkim, Nepal and India. A major figure in the Tibetan resistance was the current Dalai Lama’s brother, Gyalo Thondup. Training was imparted in various global locations, and the recruits were infiltrated into Tibet throughout the 1956-1962 period. These were mostly intelligence gathering missions but the Tibetans also routinely skirmished with Chinese forces. Operations were mainly directed from a US site in East Pakistan. Indian authorities were aware of these clandestine activities and the Americans made considerable efforts to prevent Indian interference. This was the “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” period, and India was courting the Chinese.

Everything changed when the war broke out in 1962. Faced with military collapse, India planned to use Tibetans to attack the strained Chinese supply lines. They were aware of existing US-trained Tibetan forces in US bases in Asia. Gyalo Thondup was contacted for assistance: India’s newfound interest was welcomed by the Tibetans and thus India entered the secret war. Army Chief Kaul and Mullick chose the enterprising Brigadier Uban to lead this mission. Most of the trained Tibetans were relocated to Chakrata and “Establishment-22”, which would later metamorphosise into the Special Frontier Force (SFF), was thus formed. Before the Indo-US-Tibetan project could participate in the war, the Chinese unilaterally declared a cease-fire. India was now wiser to the long-term Chinese threat: the shooting war was over but there was work to be done. Biju Patnaik, no stranger to intrigue and adventure, also played a part in this covert program. Armed with Nehru’s support, Patnaik initiated the formation of an operations base in the Charbatia airstrip in Odisha. With the assistance of American veterans and under the cover of Patnaik’s Kalinga Airlines, this base named “Oak Tree-1” turned into a major node of the program. Patnaik apparently helped route funds discreetly, arranged the services of his own air-crew, and provided office space and equipment from his own businesses. The Special Service Bureau (SSB), which would evolve into the Sashastra Seema Bal, was also founded by Mullick and Patnaik to support these operations. A fictitious Gurkha regiment was created to hide the presence of the Tibetans in various Indian military facilities. Great care was taken to hide American personnel from the public eye.

The joint operations did not last long despite major successes, including uncovering the Chinese nuclear weapons programme. US-Pakistan ties deepened in the 60s due to the Cold War; on the other hand, the Russians actively courted India after the 1962 war. India’s outspoken non-aligned stance also enraged the US Government and by 1965-66 American involvement in the Indian leg of operations wound up. Officials and political personalities who once actively worked with the Americans had by now faded away or were resigned to the breakdown in ties. China’s growing clout, the Pakistan effect and Nixon’s visit to China ultimately ended US assistance to the Tibetans in the early 70s. The improvement in Sino-Indian ties in the late 60s also led to significant roll-back of covert operations in Tibet. The sizeable Tibetan force was disbanded, with a few being absorbed into the SFF and SSB. However, episodes like the 1967 clashes, the 1987 episode and the Indo-Pak conflicts saw Tibetans in major combat roles. The remaining Tibetan forces in Nepal were less fortunate after the King turned on the Tibetans in late 1974 to gain Chinese support. Senior leaders were killed or incarcerated and only a personal appeal from the Dalai Lama to the Tibetan forces avoided heavy causalities. India could not intervene but absorbed a handful of escaped fighters and refugees.

Tibetans serve in the Indian Armed forces to this day, undoubtedly dreaming of their homeland’s liberation. Other Tibetans like the Dalai Lama continue the struggle through peaceful means.

 

 

Originally posted on DNA India (http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-india-and-the-secret-war-in-tibet-2378232)

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  1. India had always wished for a Tibet free from China for their border security should relations between India and China sour as it did during the Cold War era. China showed that they could take the borders relatively easy as shown when Aksai Chin was lost to the Chinese in 1962. Although the Chinese troops had to march through the harsh terrain, they still managed to win that war even as China called for a ceasefire and withdrew her troops from the other parts such Tawang but retained control of Aksai Chin.

    Such was China’s way of showing India that she is vulnerable. Thus, till today there is an uneasy truce. Still, India will occasionally try to take a bite at China such as the arunachal pradesh Incident with the Dalai Lama although they are supposed to be friendly towards each other now.

    So, it is interesting to note the covert operations of India into China which explains that closeness of the Indians with the Tibetans as well.

  2. ‘The Tibetan people have a reputation of being devout pacifists, a nation of gentle and benign race who are victims of an aggressor.’

    That sentence is exactly what I had always been impressed on, especially with the Dalai Lama’s benign and loving teachings/messages to the world. This article really blows the mind and wrong perception with their aggression and covert activities. It shows how we can never ‘judge’ or fully know from the facade of a person/nation. We may have the Buddha nature within but when times of trials come, we are all potential aggressors.

    In wishing to reclaim their country back, the Tibetans worked with Pakistan, India and US who provided funds and trainings in espionage & warfare. Its a partnership that both parties had their own motivations towards a shared target which is China. However over the years the Tibetan cause had lost its appeal as the world moves on and China strengthen their ‘friendship’ with others. So now I only see CTA being a pawn to the wishes of their sponsors who used them to antagonise China or to tear into China’s reputation. Due to the comfort of receiving sponsorships without work, CTA in their greed and self serving attitude willing takes on the position of lackey instead of moving forward to work with the people who holds their home in hand.

    China had over the years improved their policies on human rights and freedom of religion. She had improved the living conditions of those in Tibet, preserved cultural heritage, repair or rebuilt historical & holy places, modernised infrastructure and gave them the rights to own their business & properties. Whereas CTA had continues using feudalistic rule on their people in exile, ban certain authentic religious practices, incited hatred, persecuted, segregated against certain religious practitioners for holding true to their Guru Devotion, robbed these practitioners of their rightful properties or destroyed their properties. All these illegal acts are against their own constitution but the false public benign facade fooled many and CTA is able to carry on with impunity. Those Leaders who know turned the blind eyes due to guilt of having been an accomplice or because CTA still fulfil certain roles they can utilise to forward their political goals.

    Publicly CTA appeals to World Leaders for help to have dialogue with China for Autonomy Tibet but continues with the propaganda of vulgarity and false accusations towards China. This contradiction shows CTA is pampering the ego of their sponsors for easy money and don’t really wish to fulfil the Dalai Lama’s vision of autonomy Tibet. After all how would CTA survive in Tibet China and live in the powerful luxury state that they are in now? Only the common Tibetans in Exile suffers as they linger in refugee camps waiting for actualisation of their dreams to return home.

  3. From what I see after reading the article, I have a feeling that Tibet, Tibetan were being used by other countries (China’s enemy) to fight against China, while Tibet, all the while wanting to fight for their independence. When people within one country are not unite, there are chances for outsiders, here, we are talking about one country’s enemies, to take chances to invade or attack. Just like the story we always hear during our childhood. A dying rich old man called for his ten sons, and he ordered them to hold one chopstick each and break it. The ten sons broke the chopstick easily. Then he ordered them to bundle all 10 chopsticks together, and then ordered one by one to break the 10 chopsticks. But none of his sons could even break the bundle. This story showed us, when we unite, there are no outsiders or intruders can invade or break the brotherhood. Here, we are talking about breaking up a country.

    Until today, it seems the Tibetan Leadership still doesn’t understand this theory. Maybe they chose not to understand it or ignore it, so that they can continue getting financial support from the west, whether for their personal interest? Only CTA knows it. From what we can see now, even the current US president seems to be wanting to get a piece of cake from the China, despite his nasty comment about China previously, and starting to loose interest on Tibet. Obviously, from politics point of view, who doesn’t want to get close or befriended to a powerful country? Wake up CTA. If you still don’t, good luck then.

  4. The CTA knew very well what they were getting into when they signed up with the CIA. Back then they were desperate for a powerful ally. Today they still need the ally but more for the financial support than anything else. It would be noble if the sponsored fund were used to unite Tibetans for their common cause, and morally correct to use the fund for the betterment of its people rather than to split Tibetans into factions through religious ploys.

  5. Because of politics and selfish reasons, bigger countries are ‘using’ smaller countries to fight for their cause. But, all these come with a price of course. Why would big countries help these smaller countries to do their dirty work? We all know non of them are doing it for free. There is always a catch. The bigger ones always get the most benefits while the smaller ones will continue to suffer. All for selfish gains and more destructions. There are always wars because of power greed. What about the welfare of the people? Do look at CTA and Tibet now. What have they gained? People and families separated because of the war.

  6. When we come to talk about politic there are so many ways the giant country would do to gain power and financial. The smaller country will look for ally to protect their country. This is the same goes for war. Which ever stronger will take over the weak one.

    As reading through this article I feel much politic and it remain until today as how we see CTA operate with their violent act. The US has always been around to protect their interest and join in with the country that they can gain benefit to suppress other giant country which they felt as threat.

    Choosing war is never a good solution as it will just create more suffering. Seeing how Tibet involve in this just added my sadden to them but no surprise as CTA has always been like that.

    My question is just that how long more that CTA think they still can get the support from US and how long more they think violent can improve their governance as they as just so small and without the support from US they are going down with their current act.

  7. An interesting article to read about, because in my mind, i always thought that CIA and FBI are just to protect USA and against terrorism activities since after Cold War ( 1947 – 1991 ).

    I found out from another website: The CIA conducted a large scale covert action campaign against the communist Chinese in Tibet starting in 1956. This led to a disastrous bloody uprising in 1959, leaving tens of thousands of Tibetans dead, while the Dalai Lama and about 100,000 followers were forced to flee across the treacherous Himalayan passes to India and Nepal.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/tibet-the-great-game-and-the-cia/8442

  8. Though CTA have link with CIA, I don’t think with the support from US will dominate China’s power. Now China is a very rich, powerful and filled with much requirement in advance technologies and machineries to fight with Tibet if there is war provoked. Besides, what benefits will CTA received from US and what US want from CTA? US supported Tibet mainly purposed on resource and control. They won’t be taking much concern on their welfare, which is almost similar with CTA did to Mongolia. What’s go around, comes around.

    http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/tibetan-leadership-cons-mongolia/

  9. When are the Tibetans going to stand up for themselves and fight back their rights and peace? Why must they have link with the CIA? What benefits do they get? On the other hand, CTA is not helping their own Tibetans at all. At the end of the day, only the big players like India and US get to say whether or not they want to help the Tibetans. The Tibetans must really start to think for themselves already. Is it worth to be supporting the CTA?

  10. Tibetan people themselves was just trapped between an oppressive China and a manipulative US. CIA’s involvement with the Free Tibet Movement and its funding looks like aimed at serving American interests rather than helping the Tibetans in any lasting way. US may just using Tibet as an active front against the China .Once American policy toward China changed, they will stop help. Sad to has government like CTA which after so many years no improvement of free Tibet.

  11. There no need to categorise people into various groups by their appearance, for instance, skin colours, religions, classes and more.

    BECAUSE everyone of us are the SAME! Everyone of us are filled with selfishness and greedinees, hence, wars have never been able to stop for centuries. Untraceable amount of people have lost their lives during wars until this very new second, people are suffering at places that we would never want to go.

    It’s really worth it to be the monopoly and leave everything behind?

  12. These article has show how CIA at the pass has using Tibetan people to fright again China. No mater how China has growth even stronger these day because China has improve their policy give more freedom for spiritual practice. Rebuilt holy palaces at Tibet.Improve education and transport system. As the result Tibet has improve in their economy and Tibetan can have better life unlike before. CTA has choose the wrong side at the pass making enemy with China and never make friendship with China. I hope CTA realise who iis their real friend don’t making more mistake. If CTA want to live peacefully at India, them themselve have to stop irritating China, make peace with their neighbourd contries to get help and support including China.

  13. It is on one hand astonishing to read that Tibet in involved with the CIA and a Secret War but then again this is related to politics and politics is about power, secrets and how to gain more power. That Tibetans serve in the Indian Army seems normal as they live in India and benefit from Indias kindness to give them a place to stay.

    Yet, I believe that no war will end the difficulties but it obviously increases the suffering of so many people. We should use our mind and find ways to solve differences in a peaceful way. This way would serve everyone instead of killing people which only creates more hate and vulnerability.

  14. I have always wonder why how did CTA get funding from USA all these years, although CTA was expelled from Tibet, but USA still sponsor them, it make me wonder, what can CTA do for USA in their situation like this?

    It explained here that during the invasion from China, USA funded and recruited the Tibetans to work for CIA and to prevent China from invasion, are they really there to protect Tibet from invasion or they have other motive?

    Politics has always been very dark and everyone only work from their selfish need, they do not care about others benefit or welfare. Same to what CTA done to Dorje Shugden practitioners, and them going against China. They do so much harm to their own people to get benefit to their own, can you imagine that? A country’s leader is harming their own citizen to get own benefit, they don’t even care about their people, they don’t even care about the country, what they interested is only money, money and money.

    This also showed that China is really powerful, no one country or anyone who can go against them to to put them down, no matter how many people trying to attack China, they are being put down instead. Poor Tibet being used by the big countries surrounding. I wonder will one day, this world will be free from politics, and by then, people will suffer much less.

  15. This is nothing new. The world’s super power trying to make use of smaller nations to generate income and ultimate influence in this so called smaller nation. At first people tend to think or made to think CIA or other intelligence of a country are supposedly the good team but it is not necessarily so. There are some dept within the intelligence who are supposed to wage wars. In this instance, Tibet was up for grabs so called because it is supposedly one of the main gateway for war to enter China. It is supposed to be a threat that China have to find ways to take it in order to protect their own country. US have no intention to take Tibet probably because Tibet has no natural resources and it is not feasible to do so.

    Controversies aside, the situation for CTA meanwhile, they have to find a backer who can help raise their voice to the rest of the world. Play the pity card, get funding to fund their so called cause. To have an ally like CTA is US’s gain. At least you have another friend rather than another enemy. It makes sense for me because Tibetans are taking shelter in India and India are known to be against China. This sort of forged US’s influence against China in the region because Nepal like every other neighbouring nations are reaping the benefits from China. God knows how much CTA have been receiving donations from others but nothing seemed to have worked for its cause to reclaim Tibet till this day. Certainly a lot of questions to be answered but it seems like will never be answered.

  16. Noting the many covert political games and espionages in history, I can understand the motivation behind and the need to use tactics that turn foes or opportunist to allies. However, one would never expect the Dalai Lama to mix religion with politics. In fact, by doing so, it became the the most unwitty part of this whole drama. His Holiness should keep them separate so that the religion trump card can be an exit route for him should the complot with the CIA fail.

    The Tibetan cause is depressing because it keeps chasing a ghost, the ghost of the China under Mao who was being alleged of all the misdeeds. Everyone fighting for this cause live under this curse and refuse to wake up. Today, China is strong, beautiful and embrace freedom much better than many countries in the world. There are opportunity for growth and development in all social aspect, which includes economy, spiritual and education.

    On the other hand, the lame manifesto of the Tibet’s cause pale in comparison. What can an independant landlocked Tibet do? So, it really boils down to how much His Holiness care for his people who stood by him but continue to be trapped by poverty and underdevelopment. The political advisors should stop focusing on securing PR-ship in the West for themselves and family members but on protecting the interest of His Holiness who represents the religion with 2500 years of history as well as the interest of the people at large.

  17. I guess during the time of urgency and desperation one can make the wrong decisions. It is clear up to today that collaboration with other countries (which have their own agendas) has not brought any good results towards the goal of claiming autonomy for Tibet. I wouldn’t say there has not been any benefits ; the benefits went mainly to mostly material benefits via CTA and FREE TIBET. is there transparency on how these material donations were used? Maybe these organisations should share their financial statements openly.
    As for gaining autonomy on Tibet, it’s far from achieving this. In fact the Tibetans are now paying the price of wrong decisions made by the authorities in the past.
    Real mistakes are being swept under the carpet and on top of it CONTROVERSIES are being concocted to distract people from the truth. These sort of lies and controversies will only continue to make the innocent suffer and Tibet still remains in the hands of others. Sad!!

  18. Tibet remains a pawn of the Indians, Chinese and any other geopoliticial force that can manipulate them with the promise of independence.

    60 years and CTA is no step closer to any kind of political solution. Perhaps a foray into uniting Tibetans as a whole, those in exile could make Tibet a lot less vulnerable to the manipulations of powers that want to have an upperhand in the region of Tibet.

  19. You have to see this clear video showing His Holiness the Dalai Lama asking the monasteries to expel monks that practice Dorje Shugden. Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTgYWidYw3U

  20. Nechung is ZUMA 👎 before I m think he is one of d best when I m watch dis video By Geshe Dorjee la but now I m think is not d truth n he is lie to Tibet people we r not back to Tibet yt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIDZLzXIgW8 Chithue Tenpa Yarphel la tq for talk about truth of Nechung . I m watch to this video many time la https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if2dFMKIr_8 n after I hear you talk I m not belief to Nechung

  21. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Bengaluru
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.
    https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/india/tibetans-ready-to-be-part-of-china-dalai-lama/293109.html

    d

  22. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

  23. Why doesn’t the United States and its allies end Refugee Status for the useless Tibetans? They have been refugees for 60 years now and don’t tell me they still cannot get their lives back in order?

    Tibetans really know how to put on a good show and use people, take their money and do nothing in return.

    Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    In internal emails, Jared Kushner advocated a “sincere effort to disrupt” the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians.
    BY COLUM LYNCH, ROBBIE GRAMER | AUGUST 3, 2018, 2:12 PM
    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.
    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.
    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.
    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.
    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.
    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.
    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.
    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”
    Kushner raised the refugee issue with officials in Jordan during a visit to the region in June, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to Palestinian officials, he pressed the Jordan to strip its more than 2 million registered Palestinians of their refugee status so that UNRWA would no longer need to operate there.
    “[Kushner said] the resettlement has to take place in the host countries and these governments can do the job that UNRWA was doing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    She said the Trump administration wanted rich Arab Gulf states to cover the costs Jordan might incur in the process.
    “They want to take a really irresponsible, dangerous decision and the whole region will suffer,” Ashrawi said.
    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, told reporters in June that Kushner’s delegation had said it was ready to stop funding UNRWA altogether and instead direct the money—$300 million annually—to Jordan and other countries that host Palestinian refugees.
    “All this is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees,” hesaid.
    The White House declined to comment on the record for this story. A senior executive branch official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee program “has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion. The administration will announce its policy in due course.”
    Jordanian officials in New York and Washington did not respond to queries about the initiative.
    Kushner and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both proposed ending funding for UNRWA back in January. But the State Department, the Pentagon, and the U.S. intelligence community all opposed the idea, fearing in part that it could fuel violence in the region.
    The following week, the State Department announced that that United States would cut the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half, to $60 million.
    “UNRWA has been threatening us for six months that if they don’t get a check they will close schools. Nothing has happened,” Kushner wrote in the same email.
    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time that the U.S. had no intention of eliminating funding for Palestinian refugees, and that it was taking time to explore ways to reform UNRWA and to convince other countries to help Washington shoulder the financial burden of aiding the Palestinians.
    But the following day, Victoria Coates, a senior advisor to Greenblatt, sent an email to the White House’s national security staff indicating that the White House was mulling a way to eliminate the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
    “UNRWA should come up with a plan to unwind itself and become part of the UNHCR by the time its charter comes up again in 2019,” Coates wrote.
    She noted that the proposal was one of a number of “spitball ideas that I’ve had that are also informed by some thoughts I’ve picked up from Jared, Jason and Nikki.”
    Other ideas included a suggestion that the U.N. relief agency be asked to operate on a month-to-month budget and devise “a plan to remove all anti-Semitism from educational materials.”
    The ideas seemed to track closely with proposals Israel has been making for some time.
    “We believe that UNRWA needs to pass from the world as it is an organization that advocates politically against Israel and perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem,” said Elad Strohmayer, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    Strohmayer said that Palestinians are the only population that is able to transfer its refugee status down through generations.
    The claim, though long advanced by Israel, is not entirely true.
    In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.” The report, which was recently declassified, said the descendants of Afghan, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali, and Tibetan refugees are all recognized by the U.N. as refugees themselves.
    Of the roughly 700,000 original Palestinian refugees, only a few tens of thousands are still alive, according to estimates.
    The push to deny the status to most Palestinians refugees is also gaining traction in Congress.
    Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, introduced a bill that would limit the United States to assisting only the original refugees. Most savings in U.N. contributions would be directed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States’ principal international development agency. But USAID is currently constrained by the Taylor Force Act, which restricts the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends a policy of providing aid to families of fallen terrorists.
    “Instead of resettling Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1948, UNRWA provides aid to those they define as Palestinian refugees until there is a solution they deem acceptable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lamborn’s bill states.
    “This policy does not help resettle the refugees from 1948 but instead maintains a refugee population in perpetuity.”
    A congressional aide familiar with the legislation said its intent isn’t to gut UNRWA funding, but redirect assistance to descendants through USAID.
    “The people that are suffering should still get assistance, but through appropriately defined humanitarian channels and aid programs,” the aide said.
    Similarly, Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), has drafted legislation that would redirect U.S. funding away from UNRWA and to other local and international agencies.
    The bill, which has not yet officially been introduced, would require the U.S. secretary of state certify by 2020 that the United Nations has ended its recognition of Palestinian descendants as refugees.
    “The United Nations should provide assistance to the Palestinians in a way that makes clear that the United Nations does not recognize the vast majority of Palestinians currently registered by UNRWA as refugees deserving refugee status,” reads a draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
    Previous U.S. administrations have maintained that the vast majority of Palestinian refugees will ultimately have to be absorbed in a new Palestinian state or naturalized in the countries that have hosted them for generations.
    But the fate of the refugee issue was expected to be agreed to as part of a comprehensive peace pact that resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “This isn’t going to make peace any easier. It’s going to make it harder.”
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/03/trump-palestinians-israel-refugees-unrwaand-allies-seek-end-to-refugee-status-for-millions-of-palestinians-united-nations-relief-and-works-agency-unrwa-israel-palestine-peace-plan-jared-kushner-greenb/

    DS.com Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  24. Supreme Court of India JUSTICE Mr. MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) writes that Tibet is much better under the Chinese than it was under the lamas who only wanted to make the populace slaves. It was feudal and it will never return to the backwardness again.

    Time has come to acknowledge that Tibet has vastly improved under Chinese rule
    JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) | 12 August, 2018
    From a terribly poor state hinged on a feudal system, Tibet has modernised and grows faster than the rest of China
    This article has been prompted by Jyoti Malhotra’s article in ThePrint ‘Tibetan government quietly changed its PM’s designation. India won’t be unhappy about it‘.
    China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, ousting the Dalai Lama, had attracted it worldwide criticism. The Dalai Lama fled and was granted asylum in India, where he set up a government-in-exile with its headquarters in Dharamshala.
    The Chinese claim Tibet on the grounds that it has been part of the country since the Yuan dynasty of the 13th century, which is disputed by the government-in-exile. But let us leave this that matter aside.
    The more important question is whether Chinese rule has benefited Tibet.
    The answer is that it undoubtedly has. As the Reuters’ Ben Blanchard writes: “Today Tibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, better dressed and fed”.
    Although Ben goes on to argue that this development masks “a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans”, I will disagree. How can anyone be unhappy if s/he is healthier, better fed and better clothed?
    Under the rule of the Dalai Lamas (Buddhist priests), the people of Tibet were terribly poor, almost entirely illiterate, and lived like feudal serfs.
    Today, Tibet presents a totally different picture. The illiteracy rate in Tibet has gone down from 95 per cent in the 1950s to 42 per cent in 2000. It has modern schools, universities, engineering and medical colleges, modern hospitals, freeways, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, mobile stores and apartment buildings. The capital Lhasa is like any other modern city.
    While the economic growth in the rest of China has slowed down to about 7 per cent, Tibet has had a 10 per cent growth rate in the last two decades.
    Tibet has huge mineral wealth, which was only awaiting Chinese technology to be tapped. Nowadays, it has numerous hydro and solar power plants and industries running with Chinese help.
    Tibetan literature is flourishing, contrary to claims that the Chinese want to crush Tibetan culture.
    Of course, now the lamas cannot treat their people as slaves.
    The so-called ‘government-in-exile’, of which Lobsang Sangay claims to be the President, is a fake organisation, funded by foreign countries. They only want to restore the feudal Tibet, ruled by the reactionary lamas, something which will never happen.
    The writer is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India
    https://theprint.in/opinion/time-has-come-to-acknowledge-that-tibet-has-vastly-improved-under-chinese-rule/97172/

  25. While the government of Nepal has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, they have welcomed 30 Chinese NGOs to enter the country. These NGOs will penetrate the country’s social sector at the grassroots level. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal at one time. Nepal is increasingly open to Chinese influence, a sign that ties between both countries are strengthening, while India’s influence is being reduced. The time has passed for India’s monopoly to remain uninterrupted in Nepal as opportunities to engage with China are being welcomed.

    30 Chinese NGOs all set to work in Nepal
    REWATI SAPKOTA
    Kathmandu, July 30
    At a time when the government has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, 30 Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal to penetrate the country’s social sector and the grassroots.
    The Social Welfare Council Nepal and China NGO Network for International Exchanges, an umbrella body of Chinese NGOs, have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal. The agreement was signed yesterday between SWCN Member Secretary Dilli Prasad Bhatt and CNIE General Secretary Zhu Rui in the presence of Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa and Chinese Deputy Minister of External Affairs Wang Yajun.
    The agreement has paved the way for the first batch of 30 Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal for a period of three years. Their contract will be extended based on the consent of SWCN and CNIE. Representatives of these 30 Chinese NGOs were also present during yesterday’s signing ceremony. They have agreed to work in partnership with local NGOs to implement their programmes and projects.
    The Chinese NGOs are eyeing areas such as livelihood, healthcare, education, skill-based training, community development and disaster management. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs has entered Nepal at one time. The Chinese assistance so far in Nepal has largely been limited to development of infrastructure projects. But the entry of these NGOs indicates China is keen on making its presence felt in Nepal’s social sector and the grassroots, which, till date, have remained domains of the West and countries such as Japan and India.
    The MoU signed between SWCN and CNIE states that Chinese NGOs will be mobilised for ‘the benefit of needy Nepalis and to enhance ties between China and Nepal through people-to-people support programmes’.
    “The Chinese NGOs will abide by the law of Nepal in its entirety while carrying out development cooperation in Nepal,” says the MoU, adding, “Chinese NGOs will submit programmes to the SWCN to carry out development activities in partnership with Nepali NGOs and SWCN in line with plans and policies of the government of Nepal.”
    The MoU was signed at a time when the government has drafted the National Integrity Policy to limit activities of NGOs and INGOs, as some of them were found ‘trying to break communal harmony and proselytising Nepalis’. There were also concerns that high administrative cost of many NGOs and INGOs was preventing money from reaching the real beneficiaries. The policy clearly states that NGOs and INGOs cannot spend more than specified amount under administrative and consultant headings. They will also be barred from working against Nepal’s interests, culture and communal harmony and conducting activities to promote their religious, social or other agenda, adds the policy.
    Around 48,000 NGOs are currently registered in Nepal, of which only 1,600 have been receiving funds from INGOs, as per SWCN. The SWCN has directed INGOs and NGOs to spend 60 per cent of the budget to generate tangible results, while the remaining can be used to cover administrative costs and organise training, meetings and seminars.
    https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/30-chinese-ngos-all-set-to-work-in-nepal/

  26. The cracks in Tibetan society are starting to show, and it is now coming to the attention of local Indians who have all but identified the Tibetan leadership as the source of the divisions. According to this author, disunity amongst the Tibetans is now creating problems for Indian law enforcement agencies, and this disunity may culminate in young Tibetans holding silent grudges against their host country. It is incredible that after six decades of generosity from India, Indians are now facing the very real possibility Tibetans can be ungrateful towards India. The Tibetan leadership totally failed to impart positive values upon their exiled community, like gratitude for those kindest to them and the need to repay these kindnesses with real, tangible results. It’s also very unlikely that the Tibetan leadership will now start to do this, after six decades of failing to do so. Indians need to realise this, and see that there is no benefit for their nation to align themselves with the Tibetan leadership, and there never will be.
    Tibetan disunity not in India’s interest
    John S. Shilshi
    Updated: August 7, 2018, 11:00 AM
    India is home to the Dalai Lama and an estimated 120,000 Tibetan refugees. Though this humanitarian gesture on India’s part comes at the cost of risking New Delhi’s relations with China, India has never wavered in ensuring that Tibetans live with dignity and respect. Notified settlements across the country were made available so that they can live as independently as possible and practice Tibetan religion and culture. They are also allowed to establish centres of higher learning in Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, several reputed Buddhist institutes came up in Karnataka, and in the Indian Himalayan belt. In what may be termed as a gesture well reciprocated, and because of the respect and influence His Holiness the Dalai Lama commands, the Tibetan diaspora also lived as a peaceful community, rarely creating problems for India’s law enforcement agencies.
    The situation, however, changed from 2000 onwards when unity amongst Tibetans suffered some setback due to developments like the Karmapa succession controversy and the controversy over worshiping of Dorje Shugden. In a unique case of politics getting the better of religion, two senior monks of the Karma kargyue sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Tai Situ Rinpoche and late Shamar Rinpoche, developed serious differences after the demise of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, in 1981. This animosity ultimately led to emergence of two 17th Karmapa candidates in the early nineties. While Tai Situ Rinpoche identified and recognised UghyanThinley Dorje, late Shamar Rinpoche anointed Thinley Thaye Dorje as his Karmapa candidate. Enthronement of their respective protégés at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, the supreme seat of the Karma Kargue linage, being their primary objective, both started indulging in activities monks normally are expected to, and bitterness spewed against each other.
    The bitter rivalry assumed a new dimension when UghyenThinley Dorje suddenly appeared in India in January 2000. The competition became fiercer and hectic political lobbying, never known in the history of Tibetan Buddhism on Indian soil, became common place. Apart from pulling strings at their disposal in Sikkim as well as in the power corridors of New Delhi, these senior monks spat against each other with allegations and counter allegations, widening the gaps between their supporters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, choosing to favour one of the candidates—a decision many Tibet watchers felt was ill-timed—had also limited possible scope of rapprochement. Hence, the Karma Kargyue followers are now vertically divided, while the camps are dragged into a long drawn legal battle.
    Another development that unfortunately split the Tibetans is the controversy over Shugden worshipping, which again is an internal matter of the Gelugpa sect, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It erupted as a result of the Dalai Lama urging Tibetans to refrain from worshiping Dorje Shugden, a deity believed to be a protector, according to Tibetan legend. Shugden practitioners, who felt offended by the call, describe it as an attack on freedom of religion, a right, which Dalai Lama himself tirelessly fought for. On the other hand, die hard Dalai Lama followers perceived the questioning of the decision as one challenging the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and mounted massive pressure on Dorje Shugden practitioners to relent, with some even demolishing the statues of the deity. The rivalry ultimately led to split in two Gelug monasteries in Karnataka, and Serpom and Shar Garden monasteries in Bylakupe and Mundgod respectively came under the control of Shugden followers. The bitterness associated with the split is exemplified by the fact that till today, members of these monasteries are treated as some sort of outcasts by the others. Thus, for the first time, the Tibetan diaspora in India gave birth to sections opposed to the Dalai Lama, with spillover effects in Tibet and elsewhere.
    For India, with a fragile internal security profile, a divided Tibetan population on its soil is not good news. It has several long-term implications. It is common knowledge that China considers Dalai Lama as a secessionist, one plotting to divide their country. The latter’s claim of “all that Tibetans were asking for, was a status of genuine autonomy within the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China”, had fallen into deaf ears. China also considers him as someone who plays to the Indian tune to tickle China. Therefore, at a time when China has successfully shrunk the Dalai Lama’s space internationally, India continuing to extend the usual space for him is viewed as complicity. Sharp reaction from China when he was allowed to visit Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017, is a recent example. Such being the delicate nature of India-China relations on matters and issues concerning Tibetans, India can hardly afford to ignore the division within the diaspora. Past experience of dubious elements from Tibet having succeeded in infiltrating the Central Tibetan Administration, including the security wing, should be a warning.
    It is also time India understands the reason behind Tibetans seeking Indian passports, despite an existing arrangement for issue of Identity Certificates, which is passport equivalent. Some had even successfully taken recourse to legal remedy on the issue, and left the government of India red-faced. These changing moods should not be viewed as desires by Tibetans to become Indian citizens. They are triggered by the pathetic state of affairs associated with issuing of Identity Certificates, where delays in most cases are anything between six months to one year. Early streamlining of the process will drastically reduce their desire to hold Indian passport. It will also remove the wrongly perceived notion among some educated Tibetan youth, that the cumbersome process was a ploy by India to confine them in this country. While India should not shy from requesting the Dalai Lama to use his good offices to end all differences within the community in the interest of India’s internal security, it will also be necessary to ensure that young Tibetans do not nurse a silent grudge against the very country they called their second home.
    https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/tibetan-disunity-not-indias-interest

  27. Although the Dalai Lama has offered an apology, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) still expressed their disappointment over his controversial comment on Nehru, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). Dalai Lama called Nehru self-centred.

    The Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

    Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting controversial information to students: Arunachal Congress
    Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation: APCC
    | DAMIEN LEPCHA | ITANAGAR | August 12, 2018 9:58 pm
    disappointment over the recent statement made by Tibetan Spiritual Leader the 14th Dalai Lama in which he called Jawaharlal Nehru, the former Prime Minister of India as “self-centered” and the one responsible for parting India and Pakistan.
    “Although Dalai Lama expressed regret over his controversial comment, the APCC is extremely thwarted by it. A Tibetan spiritual leader calling names to an Indian leader who sweated most to keep him and his followers safe from Chinese aggression is simply not acceptable. Today, India is home to lakhs of Tibetan refugees who are living in 37 settlements and 70 scattered communities across different states of India,” APCC vice-president Minkir Lollen said in a statement on Sunday.
    “Dalai Lama may have forgotten that India provided a beam of light and hope to Tibetans remaining in Chinese-dominated Tibet and in the neighbouring Chinese provinces politically cut off from the Tibetan heart land. All these happened only because India has great leaders like Gandhi and Nehru who took the responsibility of social burden to shelter thousands of persecuted Tibetans then in 1959,” Lollen added.
    Minkir said Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation, hope and trust of millions on record and the same are watching his contribution towards the mankind.
    “In such circumstances, Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting partial and controversial information to the students who are the torch bearer of the nation,” the Congress said.
    Further stating that the statement of the spiritual leader could be a politically motivated one and made with an effort to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for survival of his continuation in the country, the Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.
    https://nenow.in/north-east-news/dalai-lama-should-abstain-from-imparting-controversial-information.html

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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