Exiled Tibetans Claim CIA Betrayal
Although it was kept a secret over many years, the pro-Tibet people have since revealed the exiled government's association with the CIA.
The Tibetan movement speaks of this operation from the angle of how the Tibetans were betrayed by the CIA. But more needs to be examined.
The question arises: Are the Tibetans right in feeling betrayed?
To me, the answer lies in: "Who knew what?"
The Americans knew very little about Tibet. Newsweek reported that when the Americans tried to decide whether to engage in this operation, our then Secretary of State had asked, "Where is Tibet?"
The top level American government officials saw the operation in Tibet as a path to contain communism. They made their decision based on scant knowledgeable on the details in the reality of Tibet.
But the Tibetan leaders such as the Dalai Lama knew a lot more. For one, despite the Dalai Lama's continuous claim of Tibet having been an independent country, he knew that Tibet had been part of China. There is proof to his knowledge, but to this day, he refuses to admit it. Instead, on his official web site, a picture of Tibet currency is posted to convince people that Tibet had been independent. The reality is Tibet was an autonomous region of China. Being an autonomous region, Tibet had its own currency and its own governor, as many other minority regions of China had. Yet, as any autonomous region went, the local ruler of Tibet was subordinate to the Chinese central government. It was traditional for the selections of Dalai Lamas to be approved by the central government of China.
Here is a link to a copy of the decree by the central government, headed by the KMT, who later lost a civil war to the communist party:
The caption of the decree states:
"The top one is the special decree of Republic of China (R.O.C.) government to exempt the 14th Dalai from the lottery system in 1939. a fund of 400,000 silver coins was appropriated for the `sitting on bed' ceremony. The lower one was the request of then prime minister Chiang Kai-shek, who approved the request of Tibetan regent Radreng (who had a high position in Kuomintang, and possibly was a member of that party) to the President of R.O.C. Lin Sun to give the special decree."
Not only did the KMT bequeath the 14th Dalai Lama with silver - In the past, it was traditional for all Chinese emperors to bequeath each Dalai Lama with gifts of gold and silver. What happened to these treasures? Tashi Tsering, an ex-serf, reported in his autobiography "The Struggle for Modern Tibet" of a vast collection of gold and silver by the Dalai Lama:
"During the 1950's, though the Dalai Lama himself was in Tibet, the gold and silver remained in one of the storehouses of the maharaja of Sikkim."
"The gold and silver were in the form of coins and ingots. When I became involved, the gold and silver were being hand-loaded onto trucks in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and driven south to Siliguri, the location of the nearest airstrip. At the airport the literally millions of dollars' worth of gold were loaded onto Dakota cargo planes and flown to Calcutta. This treasure was eventually to provide the core of funds that would support the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile."
"When this precious cargo reached Calcutta, the gold was immediately put into the banks. But for a while the silver was stored in a single room on the third floor of a trusted Tibetan merchant's house. It was my responsibility to stand guard over it, and for nearly a month I stood sentinel in a silent room full of coins and odd pieces of silver. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life."
How can the Dalai Lama not know Tibet is part of China when his own selection and sitting-in-bed ceremony involved the central government of China's decree of approval, and bequeathing of silver, which he later took with him?
The Americans had little idea on even where Tibet was. The Tibetan leaders knew exactly where they stood in China, yet they portrayed themselves to the Americans and the world as a "country" that was "invaded". The UN has never recognized Tibet as a country.
Today, the Dalai Lama often asks for help for his "country". This is not the first time in history that the Tibetans are calling for help. If one studies history, one will know that the Tibetans used to be fierce warriors until they discovered Buddhism. But once they became peaceful monks, Tibetans relied the Mongolians and Han to fight outside intrusions for them. It was one reason Tibet joined China during the Qing Dynasty. The Tibetan monks provided spiritual consultation for China; and China helped to protect Tibet as one of her own regions.
China was largely formed due to the integration of four marjor tribes of people: Mongolians, Han, Manchurians, and Tibetans. Even though the Tibetans were never the emperors in the central court, they were always respected by each court as the spiritual counselors.
After the other tribes of people in China: Mongolian, Han, and Manchurian fought for them in the past--and after the various central court emperors, be they Mongolian, Han, or Manchurian, had bequeathed gold and silver to bless the official approval of the new Dalai Lamas--, now the Tibetans claim they are independent. They claim they are persecuted by the Han when the atrocities in the Cultural Revolution had affected everyone in China.
As a Mongolian Chinese American, I feel badly when I see this happening. I feel that, in a way, the Dalai Lama, who knows about the history of Tibet, is a user who cares little about what others had done for his people in the past. When Communism came, and the entire China suffered, the Dalai Lama would abandon the rest of the country, and claim that Tibet isn't part of China, like a warrior who--while his squadron is facing a bad enemy, suddenly pleads that he was never part of the squadron, that the rest of the squadron had long mistreated him, and he alone should be pitied and helped. This is the sign of a very bad trait. It shows a lack of honesty and loyalty in bad times. It is self-serving.
To me, the Dalai Lama has not shown to be honest. When I came to this feeling, I came to the realization that we must know the character of the man we are dealing with. For if he is a wolf, he will always be a wolf. If the Americans help a people who had done this to others in the past, in the end, the same will happen to us. We will be the next ones to be portrayed as "wrong-doers". Despite that we help them; when time gets rough for them, they will accuse us to save themselves.
Now it's becoming clear to me that what I had predicted is already happening. The Tibetans now say the CIA had betrayed them. But the fact was the Americans had little knowledge of where Tibet was, while the Dalai Lama knew about all the silver and decree he had received.
When the Tibetans in exile first disclosed their past relationship with the CIA, some claimed that in order to keep the Dalai Lama's peaceful ideals, it was the Dalai Lama's brother Gyalo Thorndup who acted as the chief contact and made all arrangements with the CIA. The Dalai Lama himself knew nothing about the CIA deals.
Now there's an article on the Dalai Lama's official site that says:
<<The Dalai Lama's lord chamberlain arranged a meeting for him with two CIA-trained guerrillas, so they could demonstrate their skills. The Tibetan warriors pulled out a bazooka, fired it, then took 15 minutes to reload before they fired again. His Holiness was incredulous.
"Will you shoot once and then ask the enemy to wait 15 minutes?" he asked his disciples. "Impossible." But the lord chamberlain and other advisers were enthusiastic. Although the Dalai Lama would have to flee into exile in India, freedom fighters were already battling China's Army, and they had direct radio contact with the CIA. "They gave the impression that once I arrived in India, great support would come from the United States," the Dalai Lama told NEWSWEEK in an earlier interview. "It's a sad, sad story.">>
It's sad that many of these "warriors" and "freedom fighters" never knew the truth. Many Tibetans lived in isolated Tibet all of their lives, and to them, the Dalai Lama was their god king.
Did the Dalai Lama tell them his own appointment was approved by the Chinese central government?
To his people, he gives the impression that the position of the Dalai Lama is a god king, never being beneath the "Sky's Son", the god-like Chinese central court Emperor.
Did the Dalai Lama ever tell the Americans about his collection of silver from the KMT?
His official web site posts pictures of Tibet currency, but not a word about the decree of approval, and the 400,000 silver KMT bequeathed him.
Despite having fought with arms, he gives the impression that he is persona of peace.
Despite that the Han had helped Tibet in the past, he accuses the Han of committing genocide on his people when the atrocity was across China. In good times, the Dalai Lamas were honored as top spiritual counselors to the central court Emperor. In bad times, he is never a Chinese. The Chinese hurt him, so he says.
Now the Dalai Lama is spreading the word that the CIA gave him impressions. His story is "sad". In evaluating the incident, it would seem that the Dalai Lama himself is giving lots of impressions.
As he complains about the impression the CIA gave him, one might ask:
What impression did he give the CIA?