Tibetans in Indian Army and their sacrifices.

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by thakur_ritesh, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    these two links were shared with me by SATISH, so the credit completely goes to him and i felt that such an important happening should not be let swept under the carpets, at least certainly not on DFI. i was not aware of such important happenings where tibetans had played a very crucial part in the 1971 war for the creation of bangladesh, or during the operation blue star in 1984, or during the kargil conflict in 1999.

    as is so typical of our government which cares less for our own army, i do not expect them to have the spine and acknowledge the role SFF which mainly comprises of tibetans has played in so many wars, conflicts over the years.

    we on DFI can acknowledge, and feel proud of our tibetan brothers who have shed blood for our motherland.

    this thread is in recognition of all those brave hearts who have given supreme sacrifice just to make sure you and i have a safe, and brighter future.

    -----------------------

    Not their own wars

    Not their own wars - Where Tibetans Write

    Tuesday 8 January 2008, by Tashi Dhundup

    As the Indian Army’s secretive Tibetan force celebrates its 45th birthday this year, Tibetan warriors in the Special Frontier Force commemorate more than four decades of fighting other people’s wars.

    While at school at the Central School for Tibetans in Mussoorie, my classmates and I used to sing a song that went, “Chocho mangmi la madro, haapen bholo yoki rae”, which translates to “O brother don’t go to the army, they will make you wear those loose half-pants”. Although we sang this song in every grade, it was only years later that the true meaning of those words finally dawned on me. Each year as the seniors graduated, we would see trucks waiting at the school gate – Indian Army trucks, all set to cart many of the graduating students off to the barracks for training. At the time I was confused, and wondered why these new graduates were not simply going home.

    It was only much later that I came to understand the involvement of Tibetans in the Indian Army. This is an issue that has still received scant attention, much less acknowledgement of the achievements of the Tibetan soldiers in the name of the Indian state. Indeed, to this day India has never officially recognised this debt, though Tibetans, around 10,000 of them, continue to serve in the Indian Army.

    India’s Tibetan troops have traditionally made up the vast majority of the Special Frontier Force, widely known as the SFF, which has been guarding Indian borders for 45 years. Following the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the SFF was created in Chakrata, around 100 km from Dehradun, a town with a large Tibetan refugee population. While a second force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), was also created in the same year, its mandate was border patrol, while the SFF focused on guerrilla warfare. Later on, all of the Tibetans with the ITBP were sent to Chakrata, and the ITBP remained Tibetan largely in name only.

    Over the following decades, despite involvement in the 1971 War of Liberation in Bangladesh, Indira Gandhi’s Operation Bluestar in Punjab, the 1999 conflict in Kargil, as well as a continued presence on the Siachen glacier, the full extent of the SFF’s role has remained shrouded in mystery. Indeed, much of what there is to know about the SFF’s actions over the past four and a half decades has remained with two people: former Indian intelligence chief R N Kao and S S Uban, the SFF’s first inspector-general, both of whom have remained notoriously tight-lipped about the group.

    China advanced into Tibet in 1950, and nine years later the 14th Dalai Lama, then 24 years of age, fled south into exile. That same period saw the formation of a group called Chu-She-Khang-Druk (Four Rivers and Six Mountains, a name symbolising a unified Tibet), comprised mostly of Khampa, from the southeastern plains of Tibet. This relatively small group suddenly rose in violent revolt against Chinese subjugation and, though outmatched in military strength, the Chu-She-Khang-Druk fighters were able to inflict heavy damage on the People’s Liberation Army. With the Dalai Lama’s escape to India and a mass exodus of Tibetans following, the Khampa fighters felt that the best service they could provide at the time was to protect the escape route. Eventually, they too went into exile, with a base of the group eventually coming up in Mustang, in north-central Nepal.

    On the global level, this was taking place at the height of the Cold War between the US and international communist forces, which subsequently led the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC to decide to aid these Tibetan guerrillas. Though the details have always been somewhat hazy, the US continued to provide weapons and training until the early 1970s. But when Henry Kissinger, then Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, shook hands with Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong in 1971, the CIA abruptly cut off its quiet support for the Tibetans (see accompanying story, “On the altar of foreign relations”).

    Something similar had earlier taken place in India. Following the 1954 Panchsheel Agreement, Jawaharlal Nehru largely sacrificed Tibet on the altar of Indo-China friendship. At the time, Nehru was evidently assuming, or hoping, that the idea of ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai’ relations would be firmly cemented. But this was not to be: instead, the dragon roared and breathed fire, and Nehru was jolted from his slumber. The India-China war of 1962 invoked a longstanding sense of paranoia in New Delhi, and in its aftermath Nehru looked towards the old neighbour he had forsaken to protect the Indian border from the new neighbour he had blindly trusted. With a ready stock of CIA-trained Tibetan guerrillas now available in India, Nehru decided to form an army unit consisting almost exclusively of Tibetans to guard its rugged northern frontier.

    The Chu-She-Gang-Druk fighters welcomed the idea: through the new formation, they hoped that a Tibetan army could be formally maintained, and could be of ready use in the future. A tripartite agreement between India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the US’s CIA and the Chu-She-Gang-Druk subsequently brought into existence the Special Frontier Force. Initial recruiting gathered together around 12,000 men, commanded by two Chu-She-Gang-Druk leaders, who were oddly referred to as the “political leaders”. Initial training was provided by the CIA and India’s Intelligence Bureau. Within two years, a period of covert expeditions along India’s northern borders had begun. Yet opportunities never did materialise for the unit to be used against its intended ‘enemy’, and indeed, in 1973 the SFF’s orders were altered following alleged incursions into Tibet: the group was now longer allowed to deploy within 10 km of the Tibetan border. However, it was successfully deployed during the course of several other operations.

    It would be appreciated…

    16 December 1971 was the day the Bangladesh War of Liberation ended, and the date has come to connote freedom for the people of Bangladesh. Few in Bangladesh, India or Pakistan, however, remember – or have ever known of – the role played by the SFF in ensuring the Indian Army’s victory on that day. In the lead-up to the SFF’s deployment, Indira Gandhi wired a message to the Tibetan fighters, conveyed through their Indian commander: “We cannot compel you to fight a war for us,” Gandhi wrote, “but the fact is that General A A K Niazi [the Pakistan Army commander in East Pakistan] is treating the people of East Pakistan very badly. India has to do something about it. In a way, it is similar to the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans in Tibet, we are facing a similar situation. It would be appreciated if you could help us fight the war for liberating the people of Bangladesh.”

    In a dynamic that would be repeated several additional times, Tibetans subsequently began to fight a war that was not their own, and on the request of a woman whose father had played a significant part in betraying the Tibetan cause. Three thousand SFF Tibetan commandos were deployed, fighting under the cover of the Mukti Bahini (Bangladesh Liberation Army) along the Chittagong Hill Tracts. They infiltrated with orders to destroy bridges, dams and communication lines, thereby smoothening the way for the advance of the Indian Army. During the conflict, the SFF lost 56 men, while another 190 were wounded. After a little less than nine months, East Pakistan became Bangladesh. The new country’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, personally called the SFF leaders to thank them for their part in that creation. But this had been a classified mission – one that, officially, still does not exist. As such, none of the SFF fighters have ever been decorated, nor have their contributions ever been officially recognised.

    So began decades of fighting other people’s wars, much as the Nepali Gorkhas serve in the Indian armed forces. As alluded to by Indira Gandhi’s 1971 letter, the SFF was seen as a particularly effective force, and their service was used in 1984 Operation Bluestar to storm the Golden Temple to flush out Sikh militants. Years later, keeping in mind his mother’s attachment to the SFF, Rajiv Gandhi called upon the Tibetan fighters to manage his security during part of his tenure as prime minister. Following the 1999 conflict in Kargil, a Tibetan jawan wrote a song that began, “Kargil la dhangpo yongdue, bomb ki phebso shoesong” (When I first came to Kargil, the bombs welcomed us). Inherent in those words are not just fearful sentiments as expressed by any young soldier, but also the fact that Kargil was India’s conflict, not Tibet’s. Likewise, one SFF battalion today continues to serve on the Siachen glacier – oddly close to their homeland, but facing the opposite direction.

    Indeed, unofficial thanks notwithstanding, throughout these past decades it has fallen to the Tibetans themselves to sing the songs of the unsung heroes. One such song in Hindi, composed by a Tibetan trooper, is titled “We are Vikasi”, referring to the term used for a regiment within the SFF. Its words allude not only to a push to keep the cause of Tibetan independence alive, but also to the formation of a new identity within the past half-century: the Tibetan-Indian, temporarily or otherwise.

    Hum hai Vikasi, tibbat wasi
    Desh ki shyan bharayenghye

    Jab jab humko milega moka
    Jaan pe khel dekhayenghye

    Hum hai vikasi
    Chin ne humse chean ke tibbat
    Ghar se hame nikala hae
    Phirbi bharat ne humko,
    Apno ki tara sambhala hae
    Ekna Ek din chin ko bhi hum
    Nako channe chabayenghye
    Jab jab hum ko milega moka
    Jaan pe khel dekhayenghye

    Sichan glaciar main humko
    Moka mila dubara hai
    Hamare vir jawano ko
    Nahin koyi bhi gum
    Kargil hoya Bangladesh
    Himmat kabhi na hare hum
    Jab jab hum ko milega moka
    Jaan pe khel dekhayenghye

    Jahan hamara mahel potala
    Norbu lingka pyara hai
    Pujya dalai lama singhasan
    Tabse hi nyara hai
    Yad karo aun viron ko
    Jisne diya balidan hai
    Au milkar gayen hum
    Jai hamara Tibbat Jai
    Jai hamara Tibbat Jai
    Jai Hamara Tibbat Jai

    We are the Vikasi, dwellers of Tibet
    We will strengthen the pride of the country

    Whenever opportunities arise
    we will play with our lives.

    We are the Vikasi
    The Chinese snatched Tibet from us
    and kicked us out from our home
    Even then, India
    kept us like their own
    One day, surely one day
    we will teach the Chinese a lesson
    Whenever opportunities arise
    we will play with our lives

    In the Siachen glacier
    we got our second chance
    Our young martyrs
    have no sadness whatsoever
    Whether it is Kargil or Bangladesh
    we will not lose our strength
    Whenever opportunities arise
    we will play with our lives

    Where there is our Potala Palace
    and lovely Norbu Lingka
    The throne of the Dalai Lama
    was dear even then
    Remember those martyrs of ours
    who sacrificed with their lives
    Let’s sing together
    Hail to our Tibet!
    Hail to our Tibet!
    Hail to our Tibet!
     
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  3. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    The Phantoms of Chittagong

    The Phantoms of Chittagong

    January 08, 2003 15:22 IST

    Bihar is a strange state. Some 2,500 years ago, Gautama Buddha wandered there for more than 80 years, propounding the gospel of love and Ahimsa. At that time, it was the most culturally and politically advanced province of India.

    Today, Bihar has become synonymous with backwardness, corruption, illiteracy and more than anything else, dirty politics. What has happened to the state?

    One can only conclude that this ‘politics' has destroyed the dharmic fabric of the region.

    Nobody is exempt. The Dalai Lama [ Images ] was recently the object of a personal attack by a few so-called ‘neo-Buddhist monks.'

    Bodh Gaya, where after meditating under a pipal tree the Buddha achieved enlightenment, is gearing up for the Kalachakra sermon. More than 300,000 devotees are expected to attend. While preparations are underway for the Dalai Lama's discourse, which will be followed by a public initiation, some followers of Dr B R Ambedkar (who may not have recognized them as his disciples) have violently assailed the Tibetan leader. They went so far as to ask for his expulsion from India.

    The neo-Buddhist monks distributed a pamphlet in Hindi, Bharat ki bhoomi par gair desh ki sarkar (An alien government on the Indian soil) questioning the logic of the Dalai Lama running a government-in-exile in India. But they are wrong: India has never recognized the Dalai Lama's administration as a government-in-exile. Only once has the Indian government thought of according official status. After the 1965 war with Pakistan, Lal Bahadur Shastri [ Images ] informed a representative of the Dalai Lama that after he returned from Tashkent he would take this decisive step. Unfortunately for the Tibetans (and for India), the prime minister never returned from Tashkent.

    The Dalai Lama's organization in Dharamsala, known as the Central Tibetan Administration, is a set up suggested by Nehru during his first meetings with the Dalai Lama in 1959. The then Indian prime minister, while reviewing the rehabilitation of Tibetan refugees, made it clear to the Dalai Lama that the only role India could play was in educating Tibetan children. Since then, education, health and preservation of religious traditions have been the CTA's main objectives. All donations, including $2.25 million from the US Congress, received through official channels are used for these objectives.

    Whoever has gone to Dharamsala will acknowledge that the education of the refugee children is a success story.

    Another ludicrous allegation made by the monks is that as 'the Dalai Lama heavily depends on security guards for being alive, he can not be accorded divinity.'

    I have never read anywhere that the Tibetan leader pretends to be ‘divine' (in any case, it is not a very Buddhist term). On the contrary, he has always emphasized he is an ‘ordinary Buddhist monk.' The fact he is protected has no connection with his religious belief or spiritual attainment.

    India is a ‘secular' State, at least in the sense that ‘divinity' is nothing to do with a threat perception as perceived by intelligence agencies.

    The rest of the pamphlet is not worth quoting, mainly saying the Dalai Lama wants to take over Sikkim with Chinese support. It is too harebrained to be taken seriously.

    This vilification campaign raises a more important aspect of the Tibetan presence in India and their role in supporting India in its hours of difficulties. Not only have the Dalai Lama and his people never schemed against this nation, they have always been at the forefront of India's struggle for its integrity.

    It is a pity certain facts are not well known, if not completely ignored by the media and Indian public.

    Do many in India know that not only did Tibetans participate in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, they were instrumental in the fall of Chittagong?

    Some American archives, pertaining to the 1971 war, were declassified recently. These documents (as well as some earlier transcripts of Henry Kissinger's secret negotiations with the Chinese) give a fairly good idea of Kissinger and his boss President Nixon's dirty tricks against the Bengalis and India. But who ever speaks about the role of the unsung Tibetan heroes of the Special Frontier Forces?

    Under the cover of the Mukti Bahini, Tibetans infiltrated East Pakistan (soon to be Bangladesh) a few weeks before the beginning of the war. They conducted raids to destroy bridges and communication lines deep inside Pakistan's eastern province. The operation was so secret that most generals of the Indian Army's [ Images ] Eastern Command in Calcutta did not know about the activities of 3,000 Tibetans jawans commanded by a Tibetan Dapon (the equivalent of a brigadier of the Indian Army) who helped the Indian Army advance.

    From the day of its inception in November 1962, the Force had been placed under the Cabinet Secretary, which in fact meant the Indian prime minister. In 1971, the founder of the Research and Analysis Wing, R N Kao, by-passing the army, directly sent orders from Delhi [ Images ] to the Tibetan force. It is unfortunate that Kao recently passed away, taking with him his secrets.

    So did Major General S S Uban, the Indian general who founded the SFF (his designation was inspector general). Though he wrote his memoir The Phantoms of Chittagong, he only obliquely refers to his troops as Tibetans. In another book on the 1971 operations, the present governor of Punjab [ Images ], Lieutenant General J F R Jacob, then chief of staff, Eastern Command, does not say anything about the Tibetan prowess.

    A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet the Tibetan Dapon responsible for the operation, but he was unwilling to speak except in general terms.

    An Indian web site [Bharat Rakshak] provides more information on the SFF's achievements in Bangladesh: 'With war right around the corner, the SFF was given several mission plans, including the destruction of the Kaptai Dam and other bridges. The Inspector General urged that the SFF be used to capture Chittagong, but this was found not favourable, since SFF members did not have artillery or airlift support to conduct a mission of that magnitude. After three weeks of border fighting, the SFF divided its six battalions into three columns and moved into East Pakistan on 03 December 1971.'

    By the time Pakistan surrendered, the SFF had lost 56 men -- nearly 190 were wounded -- but they blocked a potential escape route for East Pakistani forces into Burma. They also halted members of Pakistan's 97 Independent Brigade and 2 Commando Battalion in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

    As they did not exist officially for the Government of India, nobody could be decorated. However, some brave Tibetan commandos were awarded cash prizes by the Indian government.

    It is strange the bona fides of the Tibetan refugees and their dedication to their country of adoption is now being questioned.

    I will not mention all those who lost their lives on the Siachen Glacier and during the Kargil [ Images ] conflict in 1999. Though the SFF have been replaced in many high altitude battlefields by the Ladakh Scouts and other local troops who can acclimatize easily for high altitude warfare, they are ready to fight and defend India's frontiers.

    When the Indian public gets to know these genuine facts, people are always deeply touched. I witnessed this recently when some young Tibetan students from Chennai gave a public performance. At the end they sang a poem written in Hindi by a Tibetan SFF jawan who had participated in the Kargil operations. The poet-jawan had written this song of joy, sorrow and emotion to express his gratitude to his second motherland and to the people of India who had given refuge, protection and education to his countrymen. Though Hindi is not the forte of the people of the South, when the students finished singing many in the audience were crying.

    The Dalai Lama is perhaps today the most renowned world leader practicing compassion and Ahimsa. In 1989, he was rightly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for his three-decade use of non-violence to solve the Tibetan issue. While actively practicing the Buddha's teachings, he has always stood by India, even when it went against his very principles. Is this not the highest token of his love for his adopted country?

    The most well known case is the Pokhran nuclear tests. While the US and other world powers ordered immediate sanctions against India, the Dalai Lama declared: 'I think nuclear weapons are too dangerous. Therefore, we have to make every effort for the elimination of nuclear weapons. However, the assumption of the concept that few nations are OK to possess nuclear weapons and the rest of the world should not -- that's undemocratic... India should not be pressured by developed nations to get rid of its nuclear weapons.'

    That the Dalai Lama understood India's point of view when the rest of the world condemned it, even when this stand was diametrically opposite to his deeper beliefs, proves the caliber of the man who has always termed India 'Aryabhumi' and declared that Tibet [ Images ] is a child of India.

    Is it not time for India to recognize his genuine contribution to world peace, universal responsibility and the defense of the highest Indian spiritual values and confer on him the Bharat Ratna?

    That he can today be accused of anti-national sentiment is proof of the rock bottom level that adharmic politics has reached. Let us hope the prayers for world peace by devotees in Bodh Gaya will balance this tendency.
     
  4. GokuInd

    GokuInd Regular Member

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    Time to dig out this:


    ‘We killed all Chinese soldiers along the route


    Claude Arpi | Monday, 30 March , 2009, 13:11

    Ratuk NgawangRatuk Ngawang was one of the senior leaders of the Chushi-Gangdruk (Four Rivers, Six Ranges), a Tibetan guerrilla outfit which fought against Chinese rule and played a key role in the Dalai Lama’s escape to India in March 1959. After the 1962 Sino-Indian border war, Ratuk commanded the Tibetan secret regiment, known as the Special Frontier Forces, based in Uttar Pradesh.

    Now 82, Ratuk lives in the Tibetan colony of Majnu Ka Tilla in Delhi, and has recently published his memoirs (in Tibetan) in which he recounts his early life in Kham province of Eastern Tibet and the escape to India with the Dalai Lama. In an exclusive interview to Claude Arpi, he reminisces about how his team cleared the way for the Dalai Lama’s escape, killing all Chinese soldiers along the way, the uprising of March 10, 1959, and his meeting with Phunwang, the first Tibetan Communist.

    Tell us about your background, how you joined the Tibetan Freedom Fighter Volunteer Force in Tibet.

    I am originally born in Lithang in Kham Province. [Around 1951], I met Baba Phuntsok Wangyal [the first Tibetan Communist, known as Phunwang] in Dartsedo which was the border with China. He had come there as a Communist official. I was a businessman at the time. We became friends.

    Did you know Phunwang before meeting him in Dartsedo?
    No, I first met him in Dartsedo. Phunwang had been a Chinese communist official for quite sometime. When he came to Dartsedo, he had already been given a senior position [in the Party]. He had come with a Chinese delegation. I and three others were invited to represent Lithang at a meeting with the Communist Chinese. They wanted our collaboration. Phunwang attended the meeting and spoke. I also had to speak. I was 22 years old at the time. This happened in 1950, long before His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] visited Beijing [in 1954-55]. From Lithang, Phunwang went to Bathang and Chamdo[to continue his mission].

    As Dalai Lama gains, Tibetans lose

    What was discussed in the meeting?
    At the time, the Chinese were telling only good things such as religious freedom, freedom of expression, assistance and development for ethnic minorities. They were also assuring us that they would not wage war against the Tibetans. This was in 1950. The Chinese had first come to Darstedo in 1949.

    Tell us about Phunwang, this Tibetan Communist.

    Phunwang is originally from Bathang [in Kham Province]. Lithang and Bathang are very close. Phunwang was a staunch believer in Communism. He had travelled widely to Lhasa, India and other foreign countries.

    In 1951, were there many Tibetan Communists in these areas?
    There was only a group of Tibetan youths from Bathang who had formed [a branch of] the Communist Party. Phunwang and his friends had studied Communism in China. [Personally] I did not believe in Communist ideology.

    The 1959 Tibetan Uprising: Rebels with a Cause

    How was the situation in Kham in 1954/1955?
    The situation became bad and dangerous at that time. For the initial two/three years, the Chinese were good and accepted whatever we asked of them. Our demands were approved, even sometime with a signature from Mao Zedong. They had promised religious freedom and also agreed not to break any laws of the land.

    In 1954, the Chinese decided to establish a school for the poor. They began to assemble all poor and needy people and spend a lot of money on teaching them farming, nomadic works and other skills. They would also give them and their family money. But soon, these poor Tibetans were told that lamas were yellow robbers and monks were red thieves. The situation began to turn from bad to worse.

    Why did you have to go to Lhasa in 1955?
    I was a staff member in Lithang Monastery and there were good possibilities of business [in Lhasa].

    Tibet: The lost frontier

    How was Chushi Gangdruk [the guerilla movement] started?
    From 1955, the Chinese began to brainwash the poor Tibetans. They told them that it was meaningless to offer money to ‘yellow robbers and the red thieves’. The Chinese told them that their poverty was the result of their offerings to the religious community. This was the beginning of the [so-called] ‘Democratic Reforms’. The well-off families, who had guns and knives, were ordered to hand-over their weapons to the Chinese authorities.

    [About Chushi Gangdruk] a meeting of businessmen and monks from Kham and Amdo in Lhasa was held in the residence of Andruk Gonpo Tashi (who was also from Lithang). In 1956, the war had already broke out in Kham and Amdo region. Everyday, Chinese would kill thousands of Tibetans and Tibetans also did kill Chinese.

    [It was decided] to fight the Chinese [in Central Tibet]. We had to purchase guns and horses in Lhasa and these purchases were made under the pretext that it would be sent to Kham. But there was no use going to Kham region as there were hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers fighting there. The idea to start this movement came from Andruk Gonpo Tashi. Chushi Gang-Druk was established in 1956 and the fight against the Chinese army began in 1958. Later, the Chinese authorities in Lhasa ordered that all the businessmen from Kham and Amdo region should leave Lhasa; the guesthouses were required to report any people from Kham and Amdo. Many Tibetans had come to Lhasa after having fought in Kham and Amdo.

    Did the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government know about the formation of the Chushi-Gangdruk?
    Yes. Probably even the Chinese knew about the meeting. Kham and Amdo businessmen in Lhasa were united because there was no way they could conduct business in Kham with the ongoing fighting. Everybody was willing to fight against the Chinese even those with wives and children. They were totally determined. After the meeting, we started purchasing horses and ammunitions.

    ‘Ignoring Tibet is dangerous for India’

    From whom did you purchase the horses and ammunitions?
    We bought the horses and weaponry in Lhasa. In Kham region, we had lots of weapons. Every family in Kham would possess guns even though all might not have a machine gun. Some families in Kham and Amdo could even have 100 guns. Some of these guns were bought a long time ago from the Chinese, while others were bought from India and British.

    What happened in March 1959?
    On 10 March 1959, Tibetans from all walks of life – monks from Sera, Drepung and Gaden monasteries, general public and the Tibetan army – all participated in the uprising. Tibetans raised slogans such as “Tibet belongs to Tibetans”, “China return to China” and “His Holiness is the supreme leader of Tibet”, “Chinese should return to China”. We knew that His Holiness did not want to meet the Chinese officials [and attend a theatre performance in the Chinese Camp]. Amongst the aristocratic circle in the Tibetan government, one group [led by Minister] Ngabo sided with the Chinese authorities while the other group consisting of officials such as Surkhang were devoted to His Holiness. The pro-Dalai Lama group was able to provide security to His Holiness. If they had not been able, His Holiness would have been handed over to the Chinese authorities. [Our work was to] clear the escape route for His Holiness in Lhoka region [south of Lhasa] by making sure that not even a single Chinese soldier remained on that route. This, we did, by either killing or catching Chinese soldiers along the way. That was in March 1959. Before reaching Lhoka region, all the Chushi-Gangdruk volunteers were scattered in all the four directions. We sent many volunteers along the route from Lhoka to areas near Lhasa to clear the way for His Holiness and to make sure that the Chinese authorities could not capture His Holiness. [We already knew that] His Holiness might not be able to stay in Lhasa, but it was the responsibility of the Tibetan government to ensure that he was safe from the [actions] of the Chinese authorities. We were waiting and fighting in the meantime. On 17 March 1959, His Holiness left Lhasa by foot.

    Tibet is not China's 'internal affair'

    When were you informed that you would have to accompany the Dalai Lama to India?
    In November 1958, I returned to Lhasa from Lhoka where I was fighting. We had contacts with several senior government officials such as the Lord Chamberlain, Phala who was close to Chushi Gangdruk. The prevalent situation was that the Chinese authorities were not heeding whatever His Holiness was saying. The situation had become difficult. We were told that there was a risk of His Holiness being captured and I was asked what we could do about it. If there was such a risk, we proposed that the Tibetan government handle the preparations, while we would escort him. [At that time] there was no clear response. But I knew it was impossible for His Holiness to stay.

    Do you remember when you left Lhasa?
    I was not with His Holiness when he escaped from Norbulingka. I am only reporting what I have heard. When he came out of Norbulingka, he was not in monk’s robe. He was disguised in a civilian dress and accompanied by two-three people for security purpose. All these preparations were made days ahead. His Holiness walked by foot to a place called Ramatrica where there was a boat. After crossing the river, horses were kept ready. Chushi Gangdruk volunteers were waiting. I sent a message through my servant and a monk that the way was totally clear from Lhoka and that there was absolutely no need to worry. This message was received by His Holiness. I was able to meet His Holiness in a place known as Drachima. Then with 10-12 horse-riders, we escorted him secretly. The photo that you see was clicked there on a hillock. His Holiness stayed for one night there.

    At that time, you had CIA-trained radio operators?
    There were two men who were handling radio transmissions.

    They were Tibetans?
    Yes, they were Tibetans [showing their pictures].

    Was it a smooth journey between Norbulingka and Tawang?
    We had snowfalls due to which we faced many difficulties; horses were unable to walk on the snow and even for humans it was difficult to walk on the snow.

    All the Dalai Lama’s family was with him?
    Yes, his family, his tutors and many high ranking officials.

    Your first impression when you reached the Indian border?
    Everybody felt happy that His Holiness could get asylum in India. When we first reached India, there was fighting everywhere in Tibet. The only thought at that time was to seek more training and to get ammunition support and then to fight against the Chinese in Tibet. We had no other aim. Either through war or through dialogue, we had to seek independence. Our thoughts were very short-sighted that time. It is why, we started the [guerilla] Mustang Operation [in Nepal] and 22 Regiment [the Special Frontier Forces under the Government of India]. Almost 100 Tibetans were trained by CIA and parachuted into Tibet where the Tibetans were fighting. But because hundreds of thousands of Chinese had entered Tibet, the operation could not be sustained.

    What feeling did you have when you reached Tawang?
    When we reached Tawang, the Indians had prepared a great deal for providing food and shelter for thousands of Tibetans. We had to surrender all our weapons to the Indian government. We requested India to allow us to fight the Chinese. We were told that we would fight together since our forces had already a good training. In many ways, we were duped.


    Claude ArpiBorn in Angouleme, France, Claude Arpi`s real quest began 36 years ago with a journey to the Himalayas. Since then he has been an enthusiastic student of the history of Tibet, China and the subcontinent. He is the author of numerous English and French books including. His book, Tibet: the lost Frontier (Lancers Publishers) was released recently.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  5. anirvan78900

    anirvan78900 New Member

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    Yes The Contributions of SFF in our Indian Armed forces can not be mentioned through words or postings. one reason for not acknowledging SFF by Indian Government is because its a Covert force,Same is the case for MARCOS, NSG. We Indians will never forget the sacrifices made by Tibetans and will ever be grateful to them for fighting our Wars.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The IA or the Govt will obviously not officially recognise the SSF as it does not exist for them officially. Its a covert force. India has adopted a policy that recognises chinese lordship over Tibet (God knows why). And is also committed to not allow any anti china activities by the Tibetans. And then if we form a couple of Brigades of those very tibetans to be on the border, its obvious that we will not do it officially. The Tibetans may have fought in Bangladesh and Kargil, but then they give us an alibi.
     
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    this leaked some info regarding the revolt - another side of the story.
    I've travelled to Kham (called Xi Kang Province during ROC - Republic of China, but it was merged into Sichuan Province in PRC ). Kham (Xi Kang) was among the first Tibetan regions (not purely Tibentan, but also lots of other ethnic groups) to implement 'democratic reforms' i.e. to distribute lands of monerstaries and aristocrats to former serfs.

    Khampa = people of Kham who initiated 'uprising' against 'reforms'.

    The communist did promise to give a buffer time to Tibet proper for 'reforms', unlike Kham or other regions.

    -------------------------
    It's good and interesting to read stories from different standpoints. The education we received about 'Class Struggle' is proven not worthless. Where one stands depends on where he sits!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  8. clearlight

    clearlight New Member

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    wonderful articles by Thakur Ritesh & GokuInd..truly heart breaking stories..our tibetan brothers & sisters had laiddown their lives for the people of this country (india, whom we consier as our second home).
    glad to know that there are some hindi people who understand the important role that SFF is playing in the Indian Defence (ARMY).
    long live INDO-TIBETAN FRIENDSHIP
    jai hind, jai bharat, jai tibat....
    with lots of love and regards,
    a friend of india
     
  9. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    every solider is important for us

    no matter caste color religion
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    They are a great lot.

    But then not much is told.
     
  11. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    I think it is about time our pseudo and weakling government starts taking up some courage and declares Tibetan Government officially as the official government of Tibet in exile. PRC has shown that it will do anything to capture our land, our way of life and not stop at anything till we also become its slaves. We Indians should not forget the freedom we had to travel to Tibet when it was an independent country.

    About time we eliminate the traitors and start a nationalist policy before this appeasement government ruins the country.
     
  12. bhogta

    bhogta Regular Member

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    Thanks to every man , who ever help India.
     
  13. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how exactly do you plan to "eliminate" the traitors who run the country and make the laws? Send them angry emails? Oh wait, most of them can't read, forget using a computer (even with free laptops they get, which are used by their grandkids to play video games).

    Maybe Bollywood can make some movies showing the struggle of the average Pakistani who's love of life, a proper Indian girl is waiting for him to come and save her at the same time. Maybe in one of the love making scenes they can mention the sacrifices of all these soldiers who died fighting that shit-hole next door.


    PS: Yeah we should probably stick to making angry threads on the subject.
     
  14. Logan

    Logan Regular Member

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    Hats Off to our Tibetan brothers!! WE would never be able to repay your debt!!!
     
  15. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    If all the likes of you could spend this much time in participating in a protest as seen these days across the country over price rise and mis-management, at least if not eliminate but the government might consider taking this seriously. That itself is eliminating enough. Don't take the literal meanings. Remember it is our votes that bring these people into power. And therefore it is our fault. Sending angry emails and making your opinion known is better than picking up Kalashnikovs and blowing up CRPF into smithereens like Maoists I believe. Not just emails but something that makes people listen as people, because there are millions of us facing such problems.

    Unfortunately we Indians don't think of anyone beyond ourselves and this modern selfishness is the cause of our trouble. An American, British, German etc are far more empathetic towards feelings of their country as people than we are as Indians.
     
  16. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

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    Oh thank you for looking into the minds of a billion people and summarizing their views. So, when are you moving to the greener, civilized pastures of America, Britain or Germany?

    BTW, "we Indians" also includes all those soldier dying for you out there. So uh, according to you, those CRPF men dying out there fighting pretty much deserved it. Those selfish, selfish people, didn't think of anyone else..

    I can't wait for the day you will march like Mahatma Gandhi and take the fight back.. oh who are we kidding, write more angry forum posts humiliating your own country and people.
     
  17. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Please discuss the topic in hand. For anything else can be discussed in relevant threads or create one.
     
  19. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    If Tibetan youth want a stable job, and a chance to payback the PLA, they can join the Army and seek frontier posting.

    Did you know, H.H. The Dalai Lama is New Delhi's greatest strategic weapon, and its possession is backed by western powers. Not just as containment of China, but that the west continues to harbor an acknowledgment of Tibet's sovereignty, which at some point (could be an Sino-Indian border conflict), they will put to use by backing India.
     
  20. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

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    So Sino-Indian border conflict will be a war of words? You actually think west will come to the aid of India? The same west that ignored India suffering from paki terror up until few buildings and subways were blown apart in their countries?

    "IF TIBET YOUTH..", that's a big IF as well btw. Actually, I'd be surprised if someone like Manmohan and Sonia in power didn't offer Chinese a hug and some free "peace" with it (by handing over AP). Forget bringing Tibet into play. Look at the way Kashmir and Naxalism has been handled for more details.
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If there is a conflict with China, I wonder if all the assets will not be used to its optimum efficient advantage.

    HH the Dalai Lama in person alone is a great thorn in China's side.

    So long as he lives, China will toss and turn with nightmares!
     

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