In December 1989, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In his presentation speech to the 14th Dalai Lama, Egil Aarvik said:
“This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded … first and foremost for his consistent resistance to the use of violence in his people’s struggle to regain their liberty…”
But on what actual merits the Dalai Lama receive the prize, when Vaclav Havel, a contender actually worked for peace?
The Dalai Lama has successfully branded himself as a new-age prophet of overall goodness. The popular perception is that the Dalai Lama is simply good. If asked just how and why and in which way he is good, what he has done for his fellow human-beings, we may come up with a list of modest achievements, but nothing that seems compatible with his rarefied status.
According to the New York Times, the prize was awarded to the Dalai Lama “largely because of the brutal suppression of the democracy movement in China and the international outrage that followed”, or as Colin Goldner suggests, the Dalai Lama received the prize because the awards committee sought a way to send a message of disapproval to the PRC in the wake of Tianamen.
But had the Nobel Commitee not read any of the accounts of the Tibetan guerrilla war that were in wide circulation, such as Jamyang Norbu’s Warriors of Tibet
“Given that Tibetan ‘non-violence’ is merely a facade, why was the Dalai Lama awarded the prize?”
Having been awarded to terrorists and war-makers, the Nobel Peace Prize is no stranger to controversy – even Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin are among previous nominees for the prize. The 14th Dalai Lama is in good company. The saddest part is most probably the quote by Thorbjorn Jagland when he revealed the committee members were all “legless drunk” the day they voted for Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, as it was the start of Norway’s annual aquavit-tasting festival!
The Dalai Lama and the CIA
The Dalai Lama has tried to conceal the level of the CIA’s involvement in Tibet and his own involvement with the CIA. Thomas Laird recounts how the Dalai Lama was apprehensive when he explained that he was to publish a book revealing when CIA activity began in Tibet:
“The Dalai Lama worried aloud to me when I interviewed him for this book. He wondered if revealing the covert American presence in Tibet in 1950 would give the Chinese some excuse for their invasion. After all, when China invaded Tibet in 1950 it said its motivating reason was to halt the imperialist plots of American agents in Tibet. At the time, America denied that there were any American agents in Tibet prior to the invasion. Until now that denial has stood unchallenged. This book proves, for the first time, not only that there were Americans in Tibet, but that several agents, in and out of Tibet, worked actively to send military aid to the Tibetans prior to the Chinese invasion. It proves that the highest levels of the US government were involved in that planning – despite government denials ever since.”
“The Dalai Lama has admitted on several occasions, including to the leading Tibetanist Melvyn Goldstein, and even to me, that he knew of the American connection even before his escape to India in 1959, and has made plain that he regarded it as ‘harmful’. His one proviso was: They [the resistance] eventually cleared southern Tibet of the Chinese. They did this with CIA help. Without the CIA they couldn’t have done that clearing, and without the clearing I wouldn’t have been able to escape from Lhasa across the mountains into India. And if I hadn’t escaped from Tibet, the situation there would have been even worse.” Jonathan Mirsky
For this dedication to the CIA, the Dalai Lama received an annual pension of $180,000 and $1.7 million to carry out “political action, propaganda, and paramilitary activity.” Both He and Tibet groups continue to receive funding from CIA-front organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
From official US State Department documents, the cost of the Tibetan Program for FY 1964 can be summarized in approximate figures as follows:
- Support of 2100 Tibetan guerrillas based in Nepal—$ 500,000
- Subsidy to the Dalai Lama—$ 180,000
- [1 line of source text not declassified] (equipment, transportation, installation, and operator training costs)—$ 225,000
- Expenses of covert training site in Colorado—$ 400,000
- Tibet Houses in New York, Geneva, and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] ( 1/2 year )—$ 75,000
- Black air transportation of Tibetan trainees from Colorado to India—$ 185,000
- Miscellaneous (operating expenses of [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] equipment and supplies to reconnaissance teams, caching program, air resupply—not over-flights, preparation stages for agent network in Tibet, agent salaries, etc.)—$ 125,000
- Educational program for 20 selected junior Tibetan officers— $ 45,000
As Michael Parenti (2004) has observed, the Dalai Lama’s CIA activities became a family affair:
“In the United States, the American Society for a Free Asia, a CIA-front, energetically publicized the cause of Tibetan resistance with the Dalai Lama’s brother, Thubtan Norbu who played an active role in that group. The Dalai Lama’s second eldest brother, Gyalo Thondup, established an intelligence operation with the CIA.”
For years the Dalai Lama was on the payroll of the CIA, an agency that has perpetrated killings against rebellious workers, peasants, students, and others in countries around the world. His eldest brother played an active role in a CIA-front group. Another brother established an intelligence operation with the CIA, which included a CIA-trained guerrilla unit whose recruits parachuted back into Tibet to foment insurgency. The Dalai Lama was no pacifist. He supported the U.S./NATO military intervention into Afghanistan, also the 78 days’ bombing of Yugoslavia and the destruction of that country. As for the years of carnage and destruction wrought by U.S. forces in Iraq, the Dalai Lama was undecided: “it’s too early to say, right or wrong,” said he in 2005. Regarding the violence that members of his sect perpetrated against a rival sect, he concluded that “if the goal is good then the method, even if apparently of the violent kind, is permissible.” Spoken like a true Nobel recipient.
When the Dalai Lama was granted a visa by Jimmy Carter in 1979 to visit the United States, the Tibetan cause found new sponsors in Senators and members of Congress who worked with the Dalai Lama’s entourage to “focus the attention of successive US administrations and a responsive world community on the Tibet situation.” By 1984, this Free Tibet approach was being actively supported by the NED. Allen Weinstein, the NED’s first acting president. Weinstein is quoted as saying:
“A lot of what we [the NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”.
Decades of CIA-funded political activities have chalked-up an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide. As a CIA asset, surely the Dalai Lama has to take responsibility in part for all these deaths?
In the following documentary, CIA agents explain how they inflamed the conflict between Tibet and China, their support from the Dalai Lama, their training of and use of the monks as guerrillas, and their use of and continued use of the Dali Lama and his brother as political tools.
As part of the Dalai Lama CIA operation, the Agency took over Camp Hale, Colorado and began training Tibetan guerrilla fighters, teaching them how to fire 57mm and 75mm recoil-less rifles, 60mm and 81mm mortars, and handguns. They taught radio techniques and encoding, and politics to the Tibetans, including the history of communism and propaganda techniques. They were also taught how to set landmines. The CIA trained Tibetan guerrillas were then parachuted back into Tibet and supplied with weapons and ammunitions to use against the Chinese army.
These landmines did not discriminate between Tibetans and Chinese, nor men, women, and children. Even in the 1990s, landmines were being attributed to the deaths of endangered animals such as the Tibetan antelope, blue sheep, alpine musk deer, and snow leopard.
The CIA continued to organise and supply the Tibetan Guerrillas after they had left Tibet and set up bases in Mustang, Nepal.
The Dalai Lama and the NED
The National Endowment for Democracy: Revisiting the CIA Connection. Established in 1984 with bipartisan support during President Reagan’s administration to “foster the infrastructure of democracy – the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities” around the world. Allen Weinstein, the NEDs first acting president, observed that in fact
“A lot of what we [the NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”.
The Dalai Lama’s “non-violent” campaign for Tibetan Independence is actively supported through the NED:
- The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) was founded in 1988 and is a non-profit membership organization with offices in Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Berlin and Brussels. Their website notes that they “fundamentally believe that there must be a political solution based on direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives and the People’s Republic of China.” ICT received their first NED grant (of the 1990s) in 1994, obtaining subsequent grants in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 (all for media work except the 1997 grant).
- Tibet Fund, who first received NED money in 1990, they then received continued NED support in 1994 and 1996. In 1996, the Tibet Fund also received NED aid on behalf of the Tibet Voice Project, “for an educational initiative based in Dharamsala, India, aimed at raising the social, political, economic and environmental awareness of Tibetans through audio-visual media.
- Tibet Information Network (TIN), who between 1999 and 2004 received annual NED grants (excepting 2000). TIN was cofounded in 1987 by Nicholas Howen and Robert J. Barnett.
- The Tibetan Literary Society received NED aid between 2000 and 2005 to publish the Bod-Kyi-Dus-Bab(Tibet Times), a Tibetan language newspaper which was founded in 1996 and is published three times a month in Dharamsala, India. In 1998 and 1999 the newspaper itself also received direct support from the NED.
- Tibetan Review Trust Society, who between 1999 and 2005 received four grants to publish the Tibetan Review, a monthly English-language news magazine based in New Delhi, India, “that covers Tibet-related news and analysis.”
- Voice of Tibet – a Tibetan-language short wave radio station which was founded in 1996 – obtained NED aid to provide “regular news about Tibet, the Tibetan exile community, and the Tibetan government-in-exile, for listeners in Tibet and in exile in neighbouring countries.
This is particularly worrying given the high international media profile of many of the groups exposed above, especially when it is remembered that the NED’s activities are intimately linked with those of the CIA. This funding issue is clearly problematic for Tibetan (or foreign) activists campaigning for Tibetan freedom, as the overwhelmingly anti-democratic nature of the NED can only weaken the legitimacy of the claims of any group associated with the NED.
Japanese AUM Terrorist Cult
Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Japanese AUM Shinrikyo Cult, claimed to have attained enlightenment in the Himalayas in 1986. In the following year he visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, the first of at least five such meetings. As Asahara would later comment:
“Imagine my delight at being able to meditate with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, … And in His Holiness’s private meditation room!”
According to the Dalai Lama’s representative in Japan, Karma Gelek Yuthok, Asahara made financial donations to the Dalai Lama from 1988 onwards. Over the next four years these were to amount to over $2 million, in an attempt to win over the Dalai Lama’s ‘favor and endorsement’.
The Dalai Lama helped Shoko by writing letters of “recommendation guaranteeing that AUM Shinrikyo was a sect that raised public awareness through religion and social activity and promoted social kindness through religious teaching and yoga exercises.”
As the German magazine Focus also comments, the Dalai Lama
“served as Shoko’s guarantor for tax-exemption while Shoko used tax-exempt funds to produce lethal gases.”
The Tokyo subway sarin attack, usually referred to in the Japanese media as the Subway Sarin Incident (地下鉄サリン事件 Chikatetsu Sarin Jiken), was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated on March 20, 1995 in Tokyo, Japan by members of the AUM Shinrikyo Cult. They released lethal sarin nerve gas into the city’s subway system.
Shoko Asahara stood trial for the attack that killed twelve people and left nearly 5,500 suffering the effects of sarin nerve gas. He also faced seventeen further charges of murder, attempted murder, abduction and the production of illegal chemical and biological weapons.
The Dalai Lama’s WikiLeaks Shame
Recent WikiLeaks releases of US Embassy cables reveal more shameful behaviour by the Dalai Lama – Establishment 22; dialogue with the KGB;… As has been well documented, the Dalai Lama colluded with the CIA to establish an armed resistance to the Chinese presence in Tibet. When this failed the Dalai Lama established a secret Tibetan unit within the Indian Army – ‘Establishment 22′. The WikiLeaks cables reveal that the Dalai Lama’s secret army received a steady stream of new recruits from the Tibetan Children’s Village Schools. As the cable says:
“Membership in Establishment 22 was compulsory for Tibetan students graduating from Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) schools until the late 1980s”
Tashi Dhundup’s account on the Tibetan blog ‘Where Tibetans Write’:
“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.”
These schools were set up for the destitute children and orphans amongst the Tibetan refugee community with international aid donations. How ironic that in the lead up to receiving the Nobel peace prize in 1989, the Dalai Lama was forcing orphans under his care into military service in his secret army. Not only this, these orphans were then sent into war with the Dalai Lama’s consent, in 1971 they fought for India against Pakistan.
The Dalai Lama and the KGB
By the 1960s, some in the US administration were questioning the wisdom of these payments to the Dalai Lama, and the on-going financial support of the Tibetan refugees. One illustration of this is the response to a letter from the Dalai Lama to the US President in late 1966, where the Dalai Lama mentions his plan to resettle with 400 Tibetans in the United States… with the apparent assumption that the US government will foot the $425,000 bill for this. The response is straight-forward:
“No USG funds are available”.
Subsequent cables reveal an interesting development. In 1969, the Dalai Lama’s personal representative Lodi Gyari lets the Americans know that the Dalai Lama has been negotiating with the Soviets [at that time the sworn enemy of the United States] for financial assistance.
“Lodi concluded by stating that the Dalai Lama and he would much prefer to take American financial assistance and he hoped I would give the matter close attention, for they had to get help from somewhere.”
An exquisite hustle by anyone’s standards. Furthermore, in his report to the State Department, the US Ambassador noted, with some alarm, how during a recent public lecture:
“The Dalai Lama emphasized that he did not oppose communism, or for that matter any “isms” in particular. He declared that an independent Tibet could have a communist government or any other form supported by the majority of the people. What Tibetans opposed was foreign domination. In the current context, these remarks would appear to have been primarily directed towards Moscow.”
Imagine the horror back in Washington at the prospect of their trump card in the global propaganda war against communism switching sides – swapping the CIA for the KGB, and happily inviting communist rule in Tibet.
Needless to say, funding for the Dalai Lama was granted, and his CIA support renewed at the next review in 1971, and again in the following years. The US congress continues to financially support the Dalai Lama, and the CIA subsidy has been replaced by National Endowment for Democracy funding.
The Dalai Lama’s Support for the Iraq War
In November 2005 the Dalai Lama spoke at Stanford University on ‘The Heart of Non-violence’, but stopped short of a blanket condemnation of all violence:
“Violent actions that are committed in order to reduce future suffering are not to be condemned.”
What of the four years of carnage and mass destruction in Iraq, a war condemned by most of the world—even by a conservative pope – as a blatant violation of international law and a crime against humanity? The Dalai Lama was undecided:
“The Iraq war—it’s too early to say, right or wrong.”
Earlier he had voiced support for the U.S. military intervention against Yugoslavia and for the U.S. military intervention against Afghanistan.