Dalai Lama’s Links to CIA

China Daily

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest subscription daily newspapers, recently reported on a documentary exposing the Dalai Lama’s contacts with the US Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s, which fully reveals the hypocrisy of the Dalai Lama. Excerpts:

The CIA in Tibet, a documentary by US director Lisa Cathey, is due to be completed this year. Part of it has already been released online. Cathey conducted more than 30 interviews with retired CIA operatives and former Tibetan separatist soldiers, who talk about what really happened in the Tibet autonomous region in the 1960s.

A series of books and movies about the links between the CIA and the Dalai Lama have appeared since the 1990s, but the truth is still not clear to many people. The religious leader has repeatedly claimed that he did not know anything in advance, despite the fact that his two brothers have long had contacts with CIA, which became the main sponsor of Tibetan separatist militants in the 1960s.

However, the investigation by Sueddeutsche Zeitung has revealed that the Dalai Lama had an intimate relationship with the CIA, and had a greater knowledge about the guerrilla warfare than he has publicly admitted. Some US documents also prove this.

A CIA memorandum showed that the CIA’s Tibetan scheme was based on the promises the US government made to the Dalai Lama in 1951 and 1956. The Dalai Lama’s emissary and his brothers met US representatives to talk about military and financial aid.

The Dalai Lama sent letters to US president Dwight D. Eisenhower after he arrived in India in 1959, thanking him for his “personal support and material aid”. He also sent similar thank you letters to Eisenhower’s successors John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The CIA started training Tibetan guerrillas to kill and make bombs in a small island in the Pacific in the 1960s, with one of the Dalai Lama’s brothers acting as interpreter. The guerrillas later parachuted into Tibet, with US transport planes keeping them supplied. There were about 85,000 guerrillas in total, using the code “Chushi Gangdrug” they attacked the government army in small groups.

The US assistance to the Tibetan guerrillas ended in 1971 after the then secretary of state Henry Kissinger visited China, leading to the collapse of the separatists.

Following the Dalai Lama’s call for them to surrender in 1974, the last group of guerrillas laid down their arms in Nepal, but some of them, unable to accept the failure, chose to end their lives instead.

Even today the Dalai Lama says he never asked the US for military assistance and that other people did all the dirty work. However, more and more investigations have found out the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was in fact not that peaceful.


4 thoughts on “Dalai Lama’s Links to CIA

  1. This is a prime example of how the CIA insinuates itself where there are threats to any nation’s territorial integrity, to exploit it to their strategic advantage.

    When China invaded sovereign Tibet, much less was known about the CIA compared to what we know today. They presented themselves to their targets as beneficiaries and allies when in fact they were serving their own criminal, imperialist agenda against China. Their contempt for the people of Tibet is clear from the covert mission name, “Saint Circus.”

    The Dali Lama resisted the CIA for many years.

    There are longer articles and entire books on the topic, but the following piece provides the essential details in brief format.

    It reveals how the Dali Lama’s authority was gradually eroded. In 1951, he agreed to China’s peace plan and 3 years later was elected to the Chinese People’s National Assembly (this was not in the best interests of the USA and effectively sabotaged their plans).

    The people of Tibet and the Dali Lama were pawns. Now all organizations that promote Tibetan sovereignty are funded by the CIA. This is a catch-22 scenario that ensures Tibetans continue to give their lives for US interests in the region, while never attaining the goal they are striving for.

    How CIA helped Dalai Lama to end up in exile
    It is widely believed that the Dalai Lama fled Tibet once Chinese troops gained control over the region. Actually, these two events have nine years between them.

    Tibet’s self-proclaimed independence in 1913, after the fall of Qing Empire of China, was never recognized legally by any country. So, once China sorted out the Civil War, it saw it only as natural to claim the territories succeeded from the state of Qing.

    Once the Chinese People’s Liberation Army forces defeated Tibet’s army on October 7, 1950, Beijing started a campaign of re-integrating Tibet into the People’s Republic of China.

    The US became interested in the region as a new ground to counter Communist China. It promised to encourage and support Tibetan resistance to Communist control and provide financial help to Tibetan insurgents, says Peter Harclerode in his book, “Fighting Dirty: The Inside Story of Covert Operations From Ho Chi Minh to Osama Bin Laden”.

    For the US State department, the Dalai Lama was of more use in active opposition to Beijing. That is why the CIA actively encouraged the Tibetan leader to go into exile to any nearby state, such as India, Ceylon or Thailand, to become the symbol of Tibet resistance to Communist China.

    In 1951 the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, preferred to stay in Lhasa and formally accepted “The 17 Point Plan” peace treaty uniting Tibet and the People’s Republic of China.

    Three years later the Dalai Lama was elected vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s National Assembly, thus entering China’s ruling elite.

    In 1956 Tibetan tribal alliance “National Army of the defenders of the Faith” tried to urge locals to fight Chinese and asked Dalai Lama to give a “spiritual support and leadership” for the resistance, which he refused.

    The alliance nevertheless obtained aid from the CIA without the Dalai Lama’s knowledge. Six Tibetans were handpicked to be trained in using small weapons, demolition, mine-laying and sabotage at the American military base on Saipan Island so they could participate in a secret CIA operation codenamed “Saint Circus”.

    In autumn 1957, two of these freshly-trained Tibetans were parachuted in to Tibet to deliver a secret message from the US government to the Dalai-Lama, offering assistance if His Holiness requested any. Again, the Dalai Lama turned it down.

    Then, in early 1958, CIA agents in Lhasa delivered a new secret message from the US urging the Dalai Lama to make a formal request for American assistance, which he declined despite the fact it would have been backed by the newly-formed Chushi Gangdrug (Four Rivers, Six Mountains) tribal alliance. The Dalai Lama was consistent in avoiding foreign help to spare his compatriots from a possible war with China – but he did not succeed.

    On June 16, 1958, Chushi Gangdrug’s military wing formed a National Volunteer Defense Army which began a full-scale insurgent warfare a whole year before the famous Tibetan uprising started (on March 10, 1959).

    Also in 1958, the CIA began a new training programme for future Tibetan guerillas. Codenamed “The Colorado program” it lasted for seven years at Camp Hale in Colorado and neighboring the Butts Field Air Force Base. No fewer than 200 Tibetans were trained during these years.
    At the same time, the CIA made sure the Tibetans were armed by dropping weapons and equipment for their guerillas.

    In total, from July 1959 till May 1960, about 362 tonnes of weapons, ammunition and equipment – as well as 85 trained guerilla warfare specialists – were dropped into Tibet,

    The US State Department closed down the Tibet project fifteen years later when, in 1974, it officially ceased to aid the Tibetan government in exile.

    Following the 1959 uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India where he stays in exile to this day.

    • Thank you Alexandra. The “Free Tibet” movement today is necessarily aimed at weakening China.

      But even if the Dalai Lama was not in collaboration with the CIA, and the Tibetan separatist movement was not controlled from outside China, it still would not be a cause that any progressive person could support. Gearóid Ó Colmáin recently wrote an informative essay on Dissident Voice about how the Lama class ruled Tibet.

      Lamaist Tibet was a theocratic serfdom. Even if they were violating Tibetan sovereignty, the PLA was freeing the people of Tibet when they overthrew the feudal Lamas and established the planned economy, proletarian property forms, secular education, and built modern infrastructure that allowed Tibet to advance centuries forward. In 1950 the average life span of Tibetans was 35 and in 2001 it was 67. The Dalai clique’s vision for Tibet does not just entail capitalist restoration, but indeed a return to feudalism and precapitalist forms of exploitation.

      Today nationalist sentiment is manipulated to such an extent that I would say a majority of the world’s nationalist movements are little more than tools to destabilize governments that stand in the way of US hegemony.

      White Paper on Tibet’s March Toward Modernization

      • Here is another excellent article by Michael Parenti, “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth”

        To find a lasting solution, we have to ask ourselves to what extent do the people of sovereign nations have the right to self-determination?

        We may not agree with the values shared by a given nation or culture but does that make invasion and assimilation by a more advanced country/culture morally right?

        If we take China’s side in the case of Tibet as an example, where then do we stand with regards to Palestine? If we are to arrive at any kind of universal stance with regards to “foreign policy”, where do we draw the line?

        No matter how primitive, flawed, corrupt, backwards, a culture might be (or seem to be from our perspective), does that give any nation the right to take it over simply because they have the means to do so?

        These are hard questions but necessary as we contemplate the complete revolutionary overthrow of imperialism and the dominator mind-set that fostered it.

        Do we only topple imperialism or do we address all cases of acquisition of land and resources in violation of the will of the indigenous inhabitants?

        Do we need to go beyond challenging imperialism and challenge all concepts of dominance that contain hegemonic traits, regardless of ideology?

        If we are going to have a just world, who will define it?

        Are there universal principles we can all agree to, or have we not yet arrived?

        If the globalists focus on what divides us that they might maintain their control, what changes need to happen so we are no longer divided?

        If there were an ideal solution that satisfied both the Chinese and Tibetan people, what might it look like?

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