‘We killed all Chinese soldiers along the route’

Discussion in 'China' started by GokuInd, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. GokuInd

    GokuInd Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    38
    Sorry I didn't know where to post this. Also please inform me if this has already been posted.

    The following is an interview with a former leader of a Tibetan guerilla organisation and later Commander of the Special Frontier Forces about his experience during their struggle against the Chinese:

    http://sify.com/news/columns/fullstory.php?id=14876687&cid=13180904&?vsv=TopHPpot

    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.
     
  2.  
  3. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    70
    Why is Dalai Lama being treated as God ?
     
  4. yang

    yang Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    China
    Except a bitter smile,I won't say more about it .The first day I went into this forum,I did know that there has been a number of Tibetan or people have Tibetan blood here,but I pretend I know nothing about it,I want to know who here have a close relationship with DalaiLamma.
    The objective I came here is to make friends,and exchange viewpoints with them,and my purpose never change.
    No matter what you said here,or whether you defeat me,the wars won't happen,and honestly speaking nothing will change.And the true hosts are Indian ,you Tibetan and I are all guests,so let's focuse on the main issues here,what would hosts think when the guests come to their home to quarrel with each other.
    By the way,you have a bad historical perception,the land is own by Russia?You know why the soldiers were killed by you easily ,because they obey the rule which is ordered by Mao ,the soldiers can't shot or they would be punished.
     
  5. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Moscow, russia
    yang although DFI is an indian defence forum we welcome views of different people around the world,there are no guests and hosts here we all make DFI together we do not discriminate between people of different nationalities so the question of nationalities does not arise.
    as long as the posts are within the specified forum rules everybody is welcome to express themselves freely without inhibition.


    AND NO TROLLING PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC
     
  6. ShyAngel

    ShyAngel Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    6
    Knowing this answer would be like knowing why tibetan people exist in this world.
    Dalai Lama roots back to the origin of Tibetan people. Dalai Lama is an avtar of Lord Avalokitesvara.
    Lord Avalokitesvara is the boudha of compassion. Goddess Tara and Lord Avalokitesvara gave birth to the origin of Tibetan people. It's like asking why brahmans treat Lord Bhrama, Vishnu, and Mahesh as GOD!
     
  7. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,076
    Likes Received:
    327
    Thanks Shy Angel for this information.
     
  8. ShyAngel

    ShyAngel Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    6
    What you talking about? And where the hell Russia came from? We are discussing about Tibet and Dalai Lama so please educate yourself and then answer to the post.


    MOD EDIT:- NO PERSONAL ATTACKS PLEASE.
     
  9. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,076
    Likes Received:
    327

    Yang you are on my friend's list, as a friend and from my personal point of view I am to say that no body is intend to hurt you here, and this is a public forum, and if any report is mentioned here , which contains certain view of a person who posses sentiment directed against any country which ever country may it be, fellow member from the country should not feel that he/she is targeted.

    Enjoy your stay here.

    Regards ,

    Pintu
     

Share This Page