Ungrateful Tibetans in India Spying for China

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By: Ringzin Tsomo

DHARAMSALA – It has recently emerged that Tibetans in exile have been spying for China. In an article on Phayul.com titled “China recruiting “disgruntled” Tibetan refugees to spy on India: Intelligence Bureau” (published January 5, 2018), it was noted that Tibetan youths are now spying on India and sending “strategic information about the area” to the Chinese leadership.

This report was borne out of alerts issued by the Intelligence Bureau (India’s internal intelligence agency) which is among the best in the world so it is unlikely that this information is incorrect. It would therefore seem that the patriotic lessons of the past generation have not filtered down to those born in exile.

The author would bid you to suspend your disappointment for the moment and consider these salient points:

  1. First and foremost, it should be noted that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala) are very fond of accusing people of being a Chinese spy when those people do not toe the line with the CTA’s official policies. Anyone whom the CTA perceives to be an enemy, or who dares speak up against the CTA is immediately branded a Chinese spy. As soon as someone is labelled a Chinese spy, they become identified with the enemy of the so-called Tibetan cause and therefore justified targets of Tibetan hatred against them. This is one of the methods that the CTA used 20 years ago to direct violence and hatred against Dorje Shugden practitioners. To this day, one of the most targeted people to have received this accusation are Dorje Shugden practitioners who refused to give up their practice when an illegal ban on it was first imposed in 1996. The irony now is that it is the CTA’s own people who are actually confirmed to be Chinese spies. What will the CTA do now that there is proof from one of the world’s top intelligence agencies (i.e. India) that Tibetan youths have been caught spying for China?
  2. The fact Tibetan youths will now spy on India for China is a clear indication that they have lost hope. Thanks to greater awareness of the CTA’s lies and corruption, these Tibetans youths who are now disgusted by their leadership’s ineptitude and six decades of no political or social accomplishments, have no reason to be loyal to the CTA. In a time when His Holiness the Dalai Lama is aging and dialogue with China has stalled with no signs of revival any time soon, the Tibetan youths have given up on hope for progress in the so-called Tibetan cause. And having witnessed their government’s self-serving nature, what reason do the youths have to be loyal to the Tibetan cause when their own leaders do not set a good example? In fact, these youths are merely taking a cue from their own government, thinking about money and how to provide for their families, and securing their own future.
  3. When Tibetan youths can be coerced into spying for China, it is because of the severe lack of opportunities in the Tibetan settlements. After 60 years, the CTA have failed to provide any kind of sustainable economy for their people. Tibetans all throughout India continue to languish either as sweater sellers, or go on to start their own small home-based businesses. It is sad that the CTA would be so engrossed with in-fighting that they would neglect the economic and social development of their people, and the talent of their youth.
  4. What the youth demonstrate is that Tibetan loyalty is fickle and can be bought by the highest bidder, even if that bidder is the enemy. Is it any wonder then that the Dalai Lama’s representatives in Beijing signed away Tibet’s sovereignty in 1951? They claim that they were under duress when signing the 17-Point Agreement, but more patriotic individuals would have given up their lives in lieu of signing the document.
  5. There is little wonder also that human rights’ groups in North India like Students’ United Movement of All Arunachal (SUMAA) would be unhappy with the Tibetans, if the news is that Tibetans are spying on India for China. These Tibetan youths, who would probably be in their peer group, were recruited from the same North Indian regions where local Indians have recently been protesting against Tibetans. At a time when the China-India relationship is so tense, groups like SUMAA have every reason to be upset with the Tibetans for aiding the so-called enemy against their host country.

In 2017, India saw the first anti-Tibetan protests carried out by local Indians and members of the Students’ United Movement of All Arunachal (SUMAA). Now that it has emerged that Tibetan youths are spying on India for China, why should foreign observers be surprised at scenes like this when Indians have always known that many Tibetans have taken advantage of the Indian government’s kindness and generosity towards them?

  1. The question on everyone’s lips is, would it be fair to call mere children “traitors” and will they receive the same treatment as other so-called traitors have? After all, they have been selling information about India to the Chinese authorities. Within the Tibetan community, people have been called worse things and treated in worse ways for doing much, much less. For 20 years, Dorje Shugden practitioners have been accused of being Chinese spies, without any proof being produced. They were kicked out from the settlements, expelled from their monasteries, refused service in shops and restaurants, bullied in school, refused medical treatment. Will these youths undergo the same difficulties? Note that the author is not asking for these children to be sanctioned. They are vulnerable youth who do not know any better, thanks to the poor leadership from the Tibetan administration. Rather, this is to point out just how hypocritical and full of double standards the Tibetan leadership’s own ‘traitor’ label is.
  2. One has to wonder what the Tibetan people have to be disgruntled with. Unlike millions of Indians who continue to live below the poverty line, Tibetans and their leadership were given safe refuge and free land in the form of the 27 major settlements across India. In the years since they came to India, they have received millions of dollars in grants, scholarships, funding and donations. That Tibetan youth could betray India, who has been so kind to them, in such a disloyal manner, is a clear failure of the CTA to teach their people to have gratitude for India.

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the proud American who became the Tibetan Prime Minister. Why does he carry an American passport and not, say, an Indian one? Was India not good enough for him? And will it really be effective when an American citizen teaches Tibetan refugees to have gratitude for India?

  1. The CTA also jeopardizes India’s own internal security by their failure to provide for the Tibetan people. Because Tibetan youth are desperate for employment and a better lifestyle, the CTA have created a group of people whose loyalties, efforts and attentions can be traded. If the CTA has any sense of gratitude towards India for all the generosity they have received from the Indian government and people, they would immediately seek to provide employment opportunities for their own youth, to make other temptations less attractive.

Ultimately, the Tibetan youth of today are attracted more by wealth and the promise of a better future than by the spiritual values which were once the essence of Tibetan culture. It is this very essence which is being lost, thanks to the Tibetan administration’s poor leadership and the example that leaders like Lobsang Sangay have set for style over substance.

And when leaders like Sangay show that it is okay to abandon one’s so-called Tibetan identity by carrying foreign passports, why should vulnerable Tibetan youth behave any differently or any more loyally to the concept of a Tibetan identity? 60 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for any Tibetan to consider spying FOR China. As time passes, things do not improve for the Tibetans in exile and this latest incident is the strongest proof yet of this.


China recruiting “disgruntled” Tibetan
refugees to spy on India: Intelligence Bureau

Published 5th January 2018. Click to enlarge (Source: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=40007)

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3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. China’s economic prowess is not to be underestimated. Leaders from various countries seek economic collaborations with China, who has been contributing to the world’s economic growth, especially in the past decade. The Indian Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) report highlighted the lack of opportunities in India for growth and advancement as the causes for Tibetan youth to willingly betray their host India and work as spies for China. Tibetan youth clearly have difficulties to survive in India as CTA failed to create sufficient jobs for the Tibetans in exile. This is a reality and we will see more and more trend like this and eventually Tibetans seeking improvement in their quality of life and intellectual advancement will leave India and ‘return’ to China.

    China recruiting “disgruntled” Tibetan refugees to spy on India: Intelligence Bureau
    Friday, January 05, 2018 19:56
    By Tenzin Dharpo
    DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 5: Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) has reportedly said that China is recruiting Tibetan refugee youth in the Northeastern parts of India to provide strategic information in exchange for monetary gains.
    The IB, India’s internal intelligence agency, has issued a string of alerts that China is approaching Tibetan refugees settled in northeast India to provide strategic information about the area.
    According to The Print, a comprehensive report submitted to the central government will include how China had been targeting “disgruntled Tibetan refugees” in the region for the past two years and how many of the recruits have already left for China.
    An unnamed source from the IB was cited as saying “young Tibetan refugees” from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and other parts of northeast India have been recruited as spies. “It appears to be China’s strategy to make a base in India to create a channel, through which it can constantly receive relevant strategic information,” the source told The Print.
    The same source also described the newer generations of Tibetans to be “volatile and vulnerable” whose desperation caused by unemployment and wish for a good lifestyle is tapped by China who assure money as well as job and education for their kids. 
    In addition to the report to be sent to Ministry of home affairs, the local police in the north east states have also been notified of the threat and may result in “scrutiny of Tibetan refugees” there soon.
    There are five Tibetan refugee settlements in the Northeast India; Choepheling- Miao, Dhargyeling –Tezu, Tenzigang- Bomdila and Tuting-Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh and Kunphenling- Ravangla in Sikkim as well as smaller pockets of Tibetans in Sonada and Darjeeling area overseen by the exile Tibetan government here in Dharamshala, known as the Central Tibetan Administration. 


  2. Instead of creating employment opportunities, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has nurtured a culture where Tibetans expect handouts and foreign aids to get by. As a result, they created a new generation of Tibetan refugees who are volatile and vulnerable, and always depend on others to help them out of circumstances. Now, Tibetan refugees in India do not even hesitate to compromise the security of their host country, India, who has been so kind to them, in exchange for monetary gain.

    China luring Tibetan refugees in India to work as its spies, Intelligence Bureau warns
    ANANYA BHARDWAJ | 5 January, 2018
    IB issues alert that many refugees settled in northeast India are being paid and offered jobs by China in exchange for strategic information.
    New Delhi: Amid rising India-China tensions along the Line of Actual Control, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued a string of alerts warning that Tibetan refugees settled in northeast India are being approached by China to provide strategic information about the area.
    While China has reportedly managed to convince a number of young Tibetan refugees to work as its spies in exchange for money, it is aiming to recruit many more, IB sources told ThePrint.
    According to the alert, based on which a detailed report will soon be submitted to the government, China had been eyeing disgruntled Tibetan refugees in the region for the past two years. Sources said that many of the refugees it has recruited have already left for China.
    “We received an alert stating that young Tibetan refugees settled in areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and other parts of northeast India are moving to China. We learnt that China is trying to recruit the refugees as spies in the area,” a source said. 
    “It appears to be China’s strategy to make a base in India to create a channel, through which it can constantly receive relevant strategic information.”
    The local police in the concerned states have also been sounded out about the alert. A report is being prepared and will be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, following which a scrutiny of Tibetan refugees in the area may start.
    “The present generation of Tibetan refugees is very volatile and vulnerable. While they wish to have a good lifestyle, they do not have any job opportunities. This is what the Chinese took advantage of to plant their spies,” the source said.
    “The Chinese reportedly not only promise them good money in exchange for information, but also a good job and education for their children in China. However, it is still not known as to how many refugees the Chinese have been able to mobilise.”
    Asked about the IB alert, a Home ministry official said: “It may be a possibility. We will look into it.”


  3. With technology advancement, any information can be shared and found online easily. For the past decade or so, we see more and more Tibetan youth came forth to express their thoughts on the CTA and dare to question its policies and decisions. Naturally, they would also think for themselves their future with the CTA and seek opportunities for growth, wealth and stability.

    The Tibetan youth is capable of comparing their situations with those in Tibet and around the world. They are smart to tell the trend and the spot opportunities also. With more and more people going to China for opportunities and growth, new business ventures being set up in the country, as well as various countries’ leaders trading with China, it is not hard to tell which direction the world is heading to.

    To spy and get paid for it, is not glamorous, but it is a reflection of the desperate state the Tibetan youth is at, the willingness to spy and sell information to their enemy and be ok for being a traitor. There is no sign of dignity, definitely no sign of spirituality or basic morality. This is again another sign of the CTA’s failure in their governance and further degenerate the morale of its people.

    The CTA is really a failure to say the least.

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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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