I AM A REFUGEE. MY CIA-RAW CONNECTION

I AM A REFUGEE. MY CIA-RAW CONNECTION

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

The Problem of Espionage at Chakrata, India has forced me to depart from India and to live as a Refugee without getting any help or assistance from either RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and its partner CIA (The US Central Intelligence Agency). The Cold War Era secrecy still undermines my quest for Freedom.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

9 Declassified RAW Operations That Will Fill You with Pride – DefenceLover

Clipped from: https://defencelover.in/10-declassified-raw-operations-will-fill-pride/?

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

It is a testimony to the secrecy maintained by RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) that there is so less concrete information available on the web about its operations. Sadly, this often portrays a sorry picture of RAW in the public domain.

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

The above Photo Image depicts the Problem of Espionage at Chakrata, India. The Photo was taken by a Chinese Agent. It portrays a Sorry Picture of RAW’s Intelligence Capabilities and failure to nab the Enemy infiltrators.

9. Operation Smiling Buddha

Operation Smiling Buddha was the name given to India’s nuclear Program. The task to keep it under tight wraps for security was given to RAW. This was the first time that RAW was involved in a project inside India. On 18 May 1974, India detonated a 15-kiloton plutonium device at Pokhran and became a member of the nuclear club. All international intelligence agencies remained in dark about Indian nuclear weapons programs until then.

8. Special Operations

After successfully, separating Bangladesh from Pakistan, RAW tried to destabilize Pakistan and separate Baluchistan from it. In the mid 1980’s, RAW set up two covert groups, Counterintelligence Team-X(CIT-X) and Counterintelligence Team-J(CIT-J), the first directed at Pakistan and the second at Khalistani groups (funded by ISI to separate Punjab from India). Rabinder Singh, the RAW double agent who defected to the United States in 2004, helped run CIT-J in its early years. Both these covert groups used the services of cross-border traffickers to ferry weapons and funds across the border, much as their ISI counterparts were doing.

According to former RAW official and noted security analyst B. Raman, the Indian counter-campaign yielded results. “The role of our cover action capability in putting an end to the ISI’s interference in Punjab”, he wrote in 2002, “by making such interference prohibitively costly is little known and understood.” These covert operations were discontinued during the tenure of IK Gujral and were never restarted. B Raman the former RAW cabinet secretary, such covert operations were successful in keeping a check on ISI and were “responsible for ending the Khalistan insurgency.” He also notes that a lack of such covert capabilities, since they were closed in 1997, has left the country even more vulnerable than before and says that developing covert capabilities is the need of the hour.

7. Snatch operations with IB

In late 2009, investigative journal, The Week ran a cover story on one of India’s major clandestine operations that the RAW ran with Intelligence Bureau to nab terrorists infiltrating India via Nepal and other neighboring countries. In order to bypass the lengthy extradition process, RAW conducts snatch operations to nab suspects from various foreign countries. The suspect is brought to India, interrogated and is usually produced before a court. With emergence of Nepal as a terror transit point, RAW and the IB (Intelligence Bureau) started closely monitoring the movement of suspected terrorists in Nepal. According to The Week in last decade there has been close to 400 successful snatch operations conducted by RAW and/or IB in Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries. Some famous snatch netted Bhupinder Singh Bhuda of the Khalistan Commando Force, Lashkar militant Tariq Mehmood, Sheikh Abdul Khawaja, one of the handlers of the 26/11 attacks, etc. Most of the suspects are kept at Tihar Jail.

6. Intelligence on 2008 Mumbai Attacks:

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

NSG commandos

About two to six months before 26/11 Mumbai attacks, RAW had intercepted several telephone calls through SIGINT, which pointed at impending attacks on Mumbai Hotels by Pakistan based terrorists, however there was a coordination failure and no follow up action was taken. Few hours before the attacks, RAW technician monitoring satellite transmissions picked up conversations between attackers and handlers, as the attackers were sailing toward Mumbai.

The technician flagged the conversations as being suspicious and passed them on to his superiors. RAW believed that they were worrying and immediately alerted the office of the National Security Advisor. However, the intelligence was ignored. Later, just after the terrorists had attacked Mumbai, RAW technicians started monitoring the six phones used by the terrorists and recorded conversations between the terrorists and their handlers. On January 15, 2010, in a successful snatch operation, RAW agents nabbed Sheikh Abdul Khawaja, one of the handlers of the 26/11 attacks, chief of HuJI India operations and a most wanted terror suspect in India, from Colombo, Sri Lanka and brought them over to Hyderabad, India for formal arrest.

5. Operation Leech

Surrounded by Arakans and dense forest, Myanmar because of its Military Dictatorship had always been a worrisome point for Indian intelligence. As the major player in the area, India has sought to promote democracy and install friendly governments in the region. To these ends, RAW cultivated Burmese rebel groups and pro-democracy coalitions, especially the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). India allowed the KIA to carry a limited trade in jade (ornamental stone) and precious stones using Indian Territory and even supplied them with weapons.

It is further alleged that KIA chief Maran Brang Seng met the RAW chief in Delhi twice. However, when the KIA became the main source of training and weapons for all northeastern Indian rebel groups, RAW initiated an operation, code named Operation Leech, to assassinate the leaders of RAW trained Burmese rebels to set an example to other groups. Six top rebel leaders, including military wing chief of National Unity Party of Arakans (NUPA), Khaing Raza, were shot dead and 34 Arakanese guerrillas were arrested and charged with gunrunning.

4. Operation Chanakya

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

Operation Chanakya was the RAW operation in the Kashmir to infiltrate various ISI-backed Kashmiri separatist groups and restore peace in the Kashmir valley. R&AW operatives infiltrated the area, collected military intelligence, and provided evidence about ISI’s involvement in training and funding Kashmiri separatist groups. RAW was successful not only in unearthing the links between the ISI and the separatist groups, but also in infiltrating and neutralizing the militancy in the Kashmir valley. RAW is also credited for creating a split in the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. Operation Chanakya also marked the creation of pro-Indian groups in Kashmir like the Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen, Muslim Mujahideen, etc. These counterinsurgencies consist of ex-militants and relatives of those slain in the conflict. Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen leader Kokka Parrey was himself assassinated by separatists.

3. Sri Lanka

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

RAW started training LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) to keep a check on Sri Lanka, which had helped Pakistan in the Indo-Pak War by allowing Pakistani ships to refuel at Sri Lankan ports. However, the LTTE created a lot of problems and complications and the then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was forced to send the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in 1987 to restore normalcy in the region.

The disastrous mission of the IPKF was blamed by many on the lack of coordination between the IPKF and RAW. Its most disastrous manifestation was the Helicopter assault on LTTE HQ in the Jaffna University campus in the opening stages of Operation Pawan. The site was chosen without any prior consultation with the RAW. The dropping paratroopers became easy targets for the LTTE. Several soldiers were killed. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi is also blamed as fallout of the failed RAW operation in Sri Lanka.

2. Creation of Bangladesh and Aftermath

In the early 1970s, the army of Pakistan prosecuted a bloody military crackdown in response to the Bangladeshi independence movement. Nearly 10 million refugees fled to India. The RAW’s Bangladeshi independence movement began in early 1970 by sowing discord among the disgruntled population of Bangladesh (then called East Pakistan), suffering repression by the Pakistani political establishment. This led to the creation of the Mukti Bahini (Liberation Army of Bengali resistance movement).

RAW was responsible for supplying information and heavy ammunition to this organization that led to Bangladesh War, its independence and later self-governance within months. Even USA hasn’t been successful at achieving this in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, within months of independence of Bangladesh, Mujibur Rahman (First President) was assassinated at his residence. R&AW operatives claim that they had advance information about Mujibur Rahman’s assassination, but he tragically ignored RAW’s inputs.
He was killed along with 40 members of his family. RAW thus failed to prevent the assassination, which led to the loss of a charismatic leader who had a soft corner for India after all they had done for his country’s independence. However, RAW has successfully thwarted plans of assassinating Sheikh Hasina Wazed, daughter of Mujibur Rahman, by Islamist extremists and the ISI.

1. Operation Kahuta

Operation Kahuta is regarded by many as one of the most daring operation ever conducted by RAW. The only reason it failed was due to a grave blunder by an Indian Prime Minister. Kahuta is the site of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan’s main nuclear weapons laboratory as well as an emerging center for long-range missile development. The primary Pakistani fissile-material production facility is located at Kahuta, employing gas centrifuge enrichment technology to produce Highly Enriched Uranium (necessary for nuclear weapons).

RAW first confirmed Pakistan’s nuclear programs by analyzing the hair samples of scientists snatched from the floor of barber shops near KRL; which showed that Pakistan had developed the ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade quality. RAW agents knew of Kahuta Research Laboratories from at least early 1978, when the then Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai stopped RAWs operations on Pakistan’s covert nuclear weapons program (because it was started by Indira Gandhi).

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.

Surrender of Pakistan

In an indiscreet moment in a telephone conversation one day, Morarji Desai informed the then Pakistan President, Zia-ul-Haq, that India was aware of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.  According to later reports, acting on this “tip-off”, Pakistani Intelligence eliminated RAW’s agents on Kahuta, leaving India in the dark about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program from then on. Out of these 10, there have been Reports in Pakistani Media of RAW’s involvement in freedom struggle of Balochistan. India has denied it and no one knows the truth. It is true that ISI is certainly afraid of RAW and reporters of Pakistani media shows the chill that RAW sends them.

I am a Refugee. My CIA-RAW Connection.


 

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NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989

NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989

NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989 – TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY 

NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989 – TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY

I ask my readers to remember the events of June 04, 1989. Beijing Doomed because of her own evil actions.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER

NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989 – TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY

LEARN FROM US ON DEMOCRACY, TAIWAN TELLS CHINA ON TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY


Sun Jun 4, 2017, | 8:49am EDT

NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989 – TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY – BEIJING DOOMED.

A paramilitary policeman keeps watch underneath the portrait of former Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, China June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

By J.R. Wu and Katy Wong
| TAIPEI/HONG KONG

Taiwan’s president on Sunday offered to help China to transition to democracy, on the 28th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, as thousands gathered in Hong Kong for an evening vigil.

Nearly three decades after Beijing sent tanks and troops to quell the 1989 pro-democracy, student-led protests, Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the subject on the mainland and have yet to release an official death toll.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is the only place on Chinese soil where a large-scale commemoration takes place, symbolizing the financial hub’s relative freedoms compared with the mainland.

This year’s events are especially politically charged, coming just a month before an expected visit of President Xi Jinping to mark 20 years since Hong Kong was handed back to China.

“When Xi Jinping comes, he’ll know the people of Hong Kong have not forgotten,” said Lee Cheuk-yan, a veteran democracy activist and an organizer of the annual candlelight vigil.

“The students who died still haven’t got what they deserve. They fought for their future, in the same way, we’re fighting for our future,” 17-year-old Yanny Chan, a high school student, said.

In Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen said that the biggest gap between Taiwan and China was democracy and freedom, needling Beijing at a time when relations between China and the self-ruled island are at a low point.

“For democracy: some are early, others are late, but we all get there in the end,” Tsai said, writing in Chinese on her Facebook page and tweeting some of her comments in English on Twitter.

“Borrowing on Taiwan’s experience, I believe that China can shorten the pain of democratic reform.”

Beijing distrusts Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party because it traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan. Beijing says the island is part of China and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

After nearly 40 years of martial law, the island in the late 1980s began its own transition to democracy with presidential elections being held since 1996.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had long ago reached a conclusion about June 4.

“I hope you can pay more attention to the positive changes happening in all levels of Chinese society,” she said without elaborating.


In Beijing, security was tight as usual at Tiananmen Square, with long lines at bag and identity checks. The square itself was peaceful, thronged with tourists taking photos.
One elderly resident of a nearby neighborhood, out for a stroll at the edge of the square, said he remembered the events of 28 years ago clearly.

“The soldiers were just babies, 18, 19 years old. They didn’t know what they were doing,” he told Reuters, asking to be identified only by his family name, Sun.

While some search terms on China’s popular Twitter-like microblog Weibo appeared to be blocked on Sunday, some users were able to post cryptic messages.

“Never forget,” wrote one, above a picture of mahjong tiles with the numbers 6 and 4 on them, for the month and day of the anniversary.

(Reporting by J.R. Wu; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard and Philip Wen in BEIJING; Venus Wu and James Pomfret in HONG KONG; Editing by Tony Munroe, Kim Coghill, and Jane Merriman)

Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Learn more about Thomson Reuters products:

Inserted from <http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-tiananmen-idUSKBN18V06C>

Never Forget June 04, 1989 – Tiananmen Anniversary
NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989 – TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY
Never Forget June 04, 1989 – Tiananmen Anniversary
Never Forget June 04, 1989 – Tiananmen Anniversary

   

NEVER FORGET JUNE 04, 1989 – TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY

WHERE IS TIBET? ASK THE MOUNTAINS. NOT PART OF CHINA

WHERE IS TIBET? ASK THE MOUNTAINS. NOT PART OF CHINA

Prayers for the dawn of freedom at The Grand Seat of the Sun, Nyingchi, Tibet.

The Living Tibetan Spirits promote ‘Tibet Awareness’ of the global community by speaking to the Mountains of Tibet. When asked, the Mountains of Tibet reveal that Tibet is ‘Not Part of China’.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

Photo taken on June 1, 2019 shows the snow mountain in Bomi County, Nyingchi of southeast Tibet. Bomi County is known for its snow mountain and glaciers. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.
Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

Photo taken on June 1, 2019 shows the snow mountain in Bomi County, Nyingchi of southeast Tibet. Bomi County is known for its snow mountain and glaciers. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

Photo taken on June 1, 2019 shows the snow mountain in Bomi County, Nyingchi of southeast Tibet. Bomi County is known for its snow mountain and glaciers. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

Photo taken on June 1, 2019 shows the Kuijia Mountain in Bomi County, Nyingchi of southeast Tibet. Bomi County is known for its snow mountain and glaciers. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

Photo taken on June 1, 2019 shows the Kuijia Mountain in Bomi County, Nyingchi of southeast Tibet. Bomi County is known for its snow mountain and glaciers. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

Photo taken on June 1, 2019 shows the snow mountain in Bomi County, Nyingchi of southeast Tibet. Bomi County is known for its snow mountain and glaciers. (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.
Tibet Awareness. Ask the Mountains of Tibet. Not Part of China.

 
 

THE SPIRITS OF SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE ASK THE US TO TALK TO THE DALAI LAMA

THE SPIRITS OF SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE ASK THE US TO TALK TO THE DALAI LAMA

The Spirits of Special Frontier Force ask the US to talk to the Dalai Lama.

I thank the US Ambassador Terry Branstad for inviting China to talk to the Dalai Lama. The Spirits of Special Frontier Force invite the US President Donald Trump to talk to the Dalai Lama.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

Special Frontier Force

US Envoy Makes Rare Visit to Tibet

Clipped from: https://www.voanews.com/a/us-envoy-makes-rare-visit-to-tibet/4932845.html

The Spirits of Special Frontier Force ask the US to talk to the Dalai Lama.

U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and his wife, Christine, pose in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa in western China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, May 22, 2019.

In a rare visit to Tibet, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad urged Beijing to engage in substantive dialogue with exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama, a spokesperson to the U.S. Embassy said Saturday.

Branstad also “expressed concerns regarding the Chinese government’s interference in Tibetan Buddhists’ freedom to organize and practice their religion,” an embassy statement said.

The U.S. envoy also raised long-standing worries about the lack of consistent access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, or TAR.

The Spirits of Special Frontier Force ask the US to talk to the Dalai Lama.

U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and his wife, Christine, are greeted in Lhasa in western China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, May 21, 2019. Branstad made a rare visit to Tibet to meet local officials and raise concerns about restrictions on Buddhist practices and the preservation of the Himalayan region’s unique culture and language.

China restricts access to Tibet by foreigners, especially journalists and diplomats. But, during the trip hosted by the Tibet Autonomous Region government, Branstad was given access to important religious and cultural sites, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka and Sera Monastery in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. He also met with senior Tibetan religious and cultural leaders, the embassy said.

In addition to the TAR, Branstad also visited neighboring Qinghai province. Qinghai is a traditionally Tibetan region also known as Amdo and the birthplace of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader.

The Chinese government is accused of committing human rights violations and imposing harsh restrictions on the practice of religion and culture in the region. But Beijing insists that Tibetans enjoy extensive freedoms and economic growth.

Regarding the U.S. envoy’s trip, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China welcomed Branstad to witness the “earthshaking changes in the people’s production and life since Tibet’s peaceful liberation more than 60 years ago.”

Branstad’s trip to Tibet was the first to the region by an American envoy in four years. The rare visit to the TAR and neighboring Qinghai province began May 19 and ended Saturday.

The Spirits of Special Frontier Force ask the US to talk to the Dalai Lama.


 

WHERE IS TIBET? THE US-CHINA FANTASY RELATIONSHIP

Where is Tibet? The US-China Fantasy Relationship.

WHERE IS TIBET? THE US-CHINA FANTASY RELATIONSHIP

In my analysis, the US-China relationship is just a ‘Fantasy’ for the adulterous relationship began without taking into consideration the fact of Tibet’s legitimate presence among the global community of nations.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

Where is Tibet? The US-China Fantasy Relationship

Where Does Tibet Fit Into the US-China Relationship? | The Diplomat

Clipped from: https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/where-does-tibet-fit-into-the-us-china-relationship/

Where is Tibet? The US-China Fantasy Relationship.

Image Credit: Flickr/ Laika ac

With the U.S. ambassador’s visit, Tibet may again be poised to play a larger role in US-China relations.

Through May 25, U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad is on a rare visit to Tibet, the first by a U.S. envoy to the Chinese autonomous region since 2015. His trip includes official meetings and stops at religious and cultural sites in bid to raise concerns about religious freedom restrictions and cultural and linguistic preservation, according to the State Department.

Tibet, geographically on China’s western flank, is a gateway to South Asia, and has been a perennial source of political sensitivity for Beijing. China’s trepidation over foreign influence and the U.S. connection to Tibet is not completely unfounded. Prior to the normalization of China-U.S. relations, the CIA funneled funding to the Dalai Lama — an influential spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism now exiled in India — and the Tibetan community to support covert activities against China. The program was canceled as then-President Richard Nixon set off on his landmark trip to Beijing in 1972. Since then, U.S. ties to Tibet have been kept more at an arm’s length, with periodic calls for the upholding of individual rights broadly and the provision of aid to safeguard Tibetan identity. And over the past year, Beijing’s approach to Tibet has attracted less attention in the United States than the Chinese government’s expansive security policies in neighboring Xinjiang, another nominally autonomous ethnic region in China.

The ethno-religious identity and status of Tibetan Buddhists lies at the heart of tensions between central authorities, the local government, and the local population. While the region is administered by the People’s Republic of China, China’s sovereign claim is contested by some groups. Beijing traces is control back to the rule of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and of course a 1951 agreement that declared Tibet’s “peaceful liberation”; others hold that the People’s Liberation Army invaded and occupied the territory. Under Beijing’s administration, religious and other activities are restricted to quell and thwart dissent and uprisings. Although detention centers have been piloted in Xinjiang, Tibet is also subject to heightened cybersurveillance, a repertoire of surveillance and repression by authorities, and the promotion of Han Chinese migration and mixed marriages to the region to bolster “national unity.”

This week’s high-profile U.S. visit in Tibet may be appealing to both Beijing and Washington, albeit for different reasons. Certainly, both are looking to frame their relationship in terms that extend beyond trade disagreements as the latest round of bilateral negotiations crumbles. A successful trip in Beijing’s eyes will highlight the coexistence of Han Chinese and Tibetans, the modernization of Tibet, and initiatives to support Tibetan culture, language, and Buddhism; a stark contrast from Beijing’s policies toward Muslim communities in neighboring Xinjiang. Conversely, for Washington, this trip can be viewed as a move by the Trump administration to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to protecting human rights, a facet of Trump’s foreign policy that has been criticized, notably in the context of U.S.-China relations.

However, it may be hard to disentangle the actual motivations for the Tibet visit. Instead, the Trump administration, frustrated by the state of trade negotiations, may be taking a more instrumental position toward Tibet and using it to indirectly pressure Beijing over a political charged region. Even if the trip is motivated by a desire to raise rights awareness, one visit to Tibet by Branstad is unlikely to overturn criticisms that the Trump administration is reluctant to center human rights issues as a key component of the U.S.-China relationship. This criticism has been voiced both by international rights watchdogs, like Human Rights Watch, and from bipartisan members of the U.S. Congress, frustrated by the executive branch’s slowed actions. Washington, once a pioneer on these issues, has ceded its international leadership role under the current administration in favor of issuing human rights criticisms more selectively.

With respect to Tibet, some have expressed concern that China’s growing international power may have dampened support and narrowed the political space for the “Free Tibet” movement. Still, the United States passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in late 2018, which would require the U.S. government to punish officials who restrict access to Tibet for U.S. diplomats, journalists, academics, and other citizens traveling to the region. Although the law may unintentionally lead to a dip in visits by Tibetan delegations to the United States, the ratcheting up of pressure may possibly nudge China to review the ways in which it accords access to Tibetan areas.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if Tibetans will stand to benefit from the temporary diplomatic spotlight brought by Branstad’s brief tour.

Where is Tibet? The US-China Fantasy Relationship.


 

MY MUSINGS ON BUDDHA PURNIMA: I AM A REFUGEE, AND WHO IS MY REFUGE?

MY MUSINGS ON BUDDHA PURNIMA: I AM A REFUGEE, AND WHO IS MY REFUGE?

My Musings on Buddha Purnima. I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge?

What is the difference between the refuge and a refugee?

As nouns the difference between the refuge and a refugee. is that refuge being a state of safety, protection or shelter while refugee is a person seeking refuge in a foreign country out of fear of political persecution or the prospect of such persecution in his home country, i.e., a person seeking a political asylum.

My Musings on Buddha Purnima. I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge?
My Musings on Buddha Purnima. I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge?
My Musings on Buddha Purnima. I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge?

On May 24, 1956, I was in Mylapore, Madras, Chennai, India. I went to Indian Posts & Telegraphs Office on Kutchery Street to buy the First Day Cover issued in celebration of 2500th Buddha Jayanti.

On that Day, I was not aware that I would fail to see the brightness of the Full Moon on Saturday, May 18, 2019. I see Darkness. I see Gloom. I learned the Art of Controlling my Mind. I learned the Art of Self-Discipline. Yet, I see the inevitability of Doom, Disaster, Calamity, Cataclysm, Catastrophe, or Apocalypse.

In my analysis, I am a person in need of Refuge, Shelter, or Protection. I performed my Life Journey under Shadow, the Darkness of Secrecy seeking a false sense of Security. I need to break the Shackles of Secrecy to declare that I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge? To Whom, I should address my Petition?

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

Buddha Purnima: Significance of Buddha’s Teachings

Clipped from: https://in.style.yahoo.com/buddha-purnima-significance-buddha-teachings-043009143.html

My Musings on Buddha Purnima. I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge?

Buddha Purnima: Significance of Buddha’s Teachings

Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm among the Buddhist community as it is one of their most important and sacred festivals. The festival also known as Vesak as it is observed on a full moon in the month Vaisakha, marks the birth of Buddha, the day of his enlightenment as well as the day he entered nirvana and left his human body form.
 

This year, Buddha Purnima falls on 18th May 2019 which is a Saturday.
 

However, it should be noted that different Buddhist communities may celebrate Buddha Purnima on different dates provided there are two full moons in the month of May.
 

The significance of this day can be understood by the events it upholds. Legend has it that Buddha’s wife Yashodhara, his first disciple Ananda and the Bodhi tree, the holy place under which Buddha attained enlightenment were all born or created on this very day. It is also believed that on this day Gautam Buddha chose to preach his first sermon in Varanasi or Banaras in India.
 

By the evidence found in history, Gautam Buddha was born between sixth and fourth century BCE.
 

Buddha was a firm believer of Karuna (meaning compassion) and Ahimsa (meaning non-violence). He spent his life searching for peace and truth. He believed that the material pleasures held little significance in life and dedicated his life to spirituality and religion.
 

Since Buddha was born in a Hindu family, the festival holds a lot of significance for the Hindu community. In Hinduism, Lord Buddha is believed to be the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, Buddha Purnima is an auspicious day for devotees of Lord Vishnu and is observed with full fervor in India.
 

Buddha Purnima has a lot of astrological significance as well. Buddha was born with Cancer Ascendant and Moon in Libra, and with the Sun positioned in the mighty Mars. In His Horoscope, the Moon is also aspected by five planets-Sun, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn, and these made Him mentally strong.
 

In Buddhism, it is believed that for you to be able to enjoy good health, bring happiness to your family, and enjoy peace in life, you must first master control over your mind. In Hinduism, devotees of Lord Ganesh practice a similar belief; that by gaining control over one’s mind, one can find the way to enlightenment. Astrologers believe that to gain control of your mind, you should strengthen the Moon in your horoscope.
 

How to Celebrate Buddha Purnima

If you want to achieve mental peace and bliss this Vesak, you should follow Buddha’s “Eightfold path”. It is the only true way to celebrate the festival.
 

According to Buddha, the Eightfold path included-

Having the Right View or Understanding, by knowing the truth,
 

Having the Right Intention, by freeing your mind of bad thoughts,
 

Having the Right Speech, which does not hurt others,
 

Having the Right Action, by working for the good of others,
 

Having the Right Livelihood, by maintaining an ethical standard in life,
 

Having the Right Effort, by resisting evil,
 

Having the Right Mindfulness, by practicing meditation,
 

Having the Right Concentration, by controlling your thoughts.
 

It is believed that by following this path, you can be free from your sufferings, bring harmony and peace, and even bring in more positivity and optimism in your life.
 

For those who may be suffering from malefic effects of Planet Saturn

, following the Eightfold Path can help you release mental pressure and boost confidence in your life.
 

Devotees celebrate the festival by serving others and feeding the hungry while they themselves keep a fast and do charitable work.
 

Lanterns are also a special part of the celebrations. Mostly seen in Sri Lanka and South Korea, people light colorful electric lanterns, which signifies happiness and enlightenment.  Happiness is believed to be the result of the individual becoming more mindful in their life.
 

My Musings on Buddha Purnima. I am a Refugee. Who is my Refuge?

THE DALAI LAMA TRAPPED IN EXILE. FREE TIBET HOPE IS ALIVE

THE DALAI LAMA TRAPPED IN EXILE. FREE TIBET HOPE IS ALIVE

In my analysis, the Dalai Lama remains trapped in Exile as the asylum was granted under terms and conditions approved by the United States and India. However, it is entirely true to claim that the hopes of Tibetans to secure their Political Freedom is alive.

 
 

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

Special Frontier Force

 
 

How the Dalai Lama Negotiated the Future of His Nation in Exile | Flashback | OZY

 
 

Clipped from: https://www.ozy.com/flashback/how-the-dalai-lama-negotiated-the-future-of-his-nation-in-exile/94059

 
 

The Dalai Lama (right) welcomed by Indian Prime Minister Nehru on his arrival at the Delhi airport, where they celebrated the 2,500th anniversary of Buddhism. The Dalai Lama would be welcomed in India again three years later, but to live there in exile.

At just 25, he won over India’s prime minister, securing himself and his people a measure of stability.

The Dalai Lama was just 23 when he was forced to flee his home country, accompanied by a small entourage and eventually followed by thousands of Tibetan refugees. He had been formally recognized as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama at age 4 but had assumed his political duties as a teenager. He was already a leader, and as he and his entourage of 80 traveled from the Lhasa plateau to the Indian border at Chutangmu, someone — probably Indian officers — snapped a color photograph of the young Dalai Lama, his brown boots firmly in stirrups, while a knot of men doff their hats and lower their heads in respect.

He had been forced to flee the Norbulingka, his summer palace, in disguise two weeks earlier, shortly before the Chinese military fired hundreds of artillery shells into the building and declared Tibet an autonomous region of China. Crossing over to the Indian side on March 31, 1959, he was flown to the colonial-era Indian hill station of Mussoorie. Here, the 23-year-old Tibetan reincarnate would meet the 69-year-old Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, on April 24, 1959 — and secure a future for his fleeing people.

The minutes of that meeting, preserved in the papers of former Indian Foreign Secretary Subimal Dutt, show an inversion of roles as we see them today: The Dalai Lama was the young neophyte and Nehru the elder statesman. In a meeting lasting over three hours, the two spoke through an Indian government translator as there had not been time for a translator to come from the Tibetan side, and His Holiness knew only a smattering of Hindi, and no English.

https://youtu.be/beT1uGWqfHo

 
 

Yet, the young monk had already displayed canniness in political affairs, deftly dealing with Chinese authorities. Letters he wrote to Chinese government representatives in Tibet immediately prior to his escape were intentionally misleading, he later admitted to Nehru, painting himself as a victim of reactionaries and promising to secretly work with China. Chinese authorities used the letters to claim that the Dalai Lama had been abducted by India and statements he made upon arrival condemning China’s actions had been dictated by Indians.

After the meeting, Nehru spoke to the Indian Parliament on April 27. “Even though he is young,” Nehru said, referring to the Dalai Lama, “I could not easily imagine that he could be coerced into doing something he did not wish.”

 
 

For Nehru, the situation with China was a balancing act. India saw China as one of the newly independent nations with whom it had a struggle against imperialism in common. India was one of the first nations to recognize the People’s Republic of China in 1950, and officially recognized Tibet as part of China. Nehru had no interest in going to war. But the Dalai Lama’s reports of indiscriminate killings within Tibet and the “sham autonomy” the region had been afforded aroused his sympathy, if not a promise of military aid. “Ultimately if Tibet’s independence is to be achieved,” Nehru told the young Buddhist, “it will be due to its own people’s courage and ability to stand up to suffering.”

Nehru wasn’t alone in refusing to act, and he knew it. In 2019, the Dalai Lama recalled Nehru explaining that the U.S., preoccupied with the Korean Peninsula at the time, wouldn’t risk a fight with China to help Tibet. And his objections weren’t just ideological: India’s military capabilities weren’t up to war with China, particularly not over regional concerns. But eventually, Tibet would play a major role in the monthlong India-China war of 1962, in which China eventually triumphed. But Nehru dissuaded the Tibetans from pushing their cause at the U.N., recognized Chinese sovereignty and urged the Dalai Lama to enter talks with the Chinese.

In the end, the Dalai Lama’s flight and India’s decision to grant him asylum — albeit not in a legal sense — gets to the heart of two nation-building processes in Asia.

In the end, the Dalai Lama’s flight and India’s decision to grant him asylum — albeit not in a legal sense — gets to the heart of two nation-building processes in Asia.

Nehru was not offering an intervention. He could and did, however, offer refuge. What came from the meeting with the Dalai Lama, says Amitabh Mathur, former adviser on Tibet affairs to the government of India, was “to keep the civilizational struggle alive, keep their identity alive.” Large tracts of land were given to Tibetans to establish settlements, complete with monastic institutions and schools, to allow them to preserve the religious and cultural foundations of their society. Care was taken that the settlements be in a welcoming climate for mountain-raised Tibetans.

Today, the status of Tibetans in India is nuanced. They are not legally citizens but have voting rights, officially since 2014. They elect a Tibetan parliament in exile, based out of Dharamshala, which performs administrative functions including taxes and running censuses and places like schools.

In the end, the Dalai Lama’s flight and India’s decision to grant him asylum — albeit not in a legal sense — gets to the heart of two nation-building processes in Asia. India and China are still scrapping over borders, as evidenced by the standoff over a road in Doklam less than two years ago. And China is still violently asserting authority over its borderlands, like Xinjiang, where a recent crackdown on the Uighur minority has raised an international alarm.

Tibetans have not been allowed to return to their territory, but when Nehru let them stay and build a community in India, he furthered their cause. As Nehru would state in the meeting, “the Dalai Lama being in India keeps alive the question of Tibet in the minds of the world.”

THE DALAI LAMA AND XI JINPING MEETING IN NEW DELHI

THE DALAI LAMA AND XI JINPING MEETING IN NEW DELHI

 

In my analysis, the proposed meeting between the Dalai Lama and Xi Jinping in New Delhi in 2014 never happened as the meeting was not approved by the United States. I ask my readers to know that the asylum granted to the Dalai Lama was fully approved by the United States with certain terms and conditions. He is not entirely free to make political decisions without the approval of the United States and India.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

 
 

Clipped from: https://www.ndtv.com/book-excerpts/president-xi-was-to-meet-me-in-delhi-in-2014-but-dalai-lama-exclusive-2037863

 
 

Dalai Lama Exclusive: Chinese President Had Agreed To Meet Me In Delhi

Book Excerpt | Sonia Singh | Updated: May 15, 2019 14:35 IST

 
 

Cover of Sonia Singh’s book ‘Defining India: Through Their Eyes’

 
 

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader in exile has been in India for the last 60 years, his very existence remaining an irritant to China which has often publicly denounced him as an Enemy. Yet, in this rare conversation for her book, ‘Defining India’, the Dalai Lama told Sonia Singh, that he had reached out to China for a meeting with President Xi during his visit to Delhi in 2014…and surprisingly China had agreed. India however intervened and the meeting didn’t happen. Here’s an excerpt from the book.

Prime ministers will change but it’s clear that India has always walked a very careful tightrope with China on the Tibet question. ‘Prime Minister Modi has looked at redefining India’s relationship with China and you have enjoyed greater visibility under his government with your visit to Arunachal Pradesh and the Tawang monastery. Yet, “thank you” celebrations to mark your sixty years in India had to be shifted from Delhi to Dharamshala to avoid angering the Chinese. How has dealing with Prime Minister Modi been?’ I ask.

‘Awkward,’ says the Dalai Lama wryly, then adding, ‘And it’s only natural, understandable. The China-India relationship is very important. When the Doklam problem happened [in 2017, China tried to build a road in Doklam, a stretch in Bhutan bordering India and China, to which India and Bhutan objected, resulting in a standoff], the media asked me about my beliefs and I told them that these were minor; neither India nor China want to destroy one another-we have to live side by side. The ultimate goal should be “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai!” That is the only realistic way.

‘So, naturally Prime Minister Modi is concerned about good relations with China. I actually know him very well. When he was the chief minister of Gujarat, the state found an ancient Buddhist monastery and as chief minister, Mr. Modi invited me to a function for this. Besides the official meeting, he also came to see me at my hotel. We have very good relations. He is quite an active Indian prime minister, continuously visiting many countries. That, I admire at his age.’

And it is then as we talk of the prime minister that the Dalai Lama drops his political bombshell. ‘In 2014, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Modi, I requested a meeting with him. President Xi Jinping agreed, but the Indian government was cautious about the meeting, so it didn’t happen.’

Just like the historic moment between the heads of North Korea and South Korea in 2018, this could have been a meeting that had the promise to change the course of China-Tibet relations, especially as there have been reports that there are informal contacts between both sides. President Xi is said to have a close knowledge of Buddhism through his father who headed the Communist Party’s religious work in 1980. During his stint as a young provincial officer as well in 1982, Xi Jinping was posted in Zhengding, China where he backed a Buddhist monk’s efforts to rebuild the famous Linji Temple and has asked workers to study the partnership between party and religion. In 2014, in a speech in Delhi, the Dalai Lama had said that President Xi was the first Chinese leader to publicly say that Buddhism had a role to play in the preservation of Chinese culture.

However, a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Xi could have also been used as a propaganda tool by the Chinese to outwit both India and the Dalai Lama, who is seen by some foreign policy strategists as India’s trump card against the Chinese. It’s not surprising then that the request for the meeting must have sent the ministry of external affairs into a spin leading to a denial of the request.

Excerpted with permission of Penguin India from ‘Defining India: Through Their Eyes’ by Sonia Singh. Order your copy here.

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CULTURAL REVOLUTION: THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

The Government of China and it’s Communist Party committed numerous Crimes against Humanity in the name of the Cultural Revolution.

I ask the US citizens to demand the investigation of President Nixon’s Foreign Policy that initiated the US-China relations in 1971-72 without concern for the Crimes Against Humanity described by Communist China as ‘Cultural Revolution’.

Designed by Mao Zedong to preserve true Communist ideology by removing capitalist and traditional elements from society in China. Was a move to recover political power by Mao. The movement insisted that revisionists, people in China who promoted capitalism, had to be removed through violent class struggle. Red Guard was a movement of Chinese Youth to perpetuate these goals. Millions of people were persecuted, cultural icons were destroyed, religious sites were ransacked.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

Special Frontier Force

Cultural Revolution – HISTORY

Clipped from: https://www.history.com/topics/china/cultural-revolution

In 1966, China’s Communist leader Mao Zedong launched what became known as the Cultural Revolution in order to reassert his authority over the Chinese government. Believing that current Communist leaders were taking the party, and China itself, in the wrong direction, Mao called on the nation’s youth to purge the “impure” elements of Chinese society and revive the revolutionary spirit that had led to victory in the civil war 20 decades earlier and the formation of the People’s Republic of China. The Cultural Revolution continued in various phases until Mao’s death in 1976, and its tormented and violent legacy would resonate in Chinese politics and society for decades to come.

The Cultural Revolution Begins 

In the 1960s, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong came to feel that the current party leadership in China, as in the Soviet Union, was moving too far in a revisionist direction, with an emphasis on expertise rather than on ideological purity. Mao’s own position in government had weakened after the failure of his “Great Leap Forward” (1958-60) and the economic crisis that followed. Mao gathered a group of radicals, including his wife Jiang Qing and defense minister Lin Biao, to help him attack current party leadership and reassert his authority.

Mao launched the so-called Cultural Revolution (known in full as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution) in August 1966, at a meeting of the Plenum of the Central Committee. He shut down the nation’s schools, calling for a massive youth mobilization to take current party leaders to task for their embrace of bourgeois values and lack of revolutionary spirit. In the months that followed, the movement escalated quickly as the students formed paramilitary groups called the Red Guards and attacked and harassed members of China’s elderly and intellectual population. A personality cult quickly sprang up around Mao, similar to that which existed for Josef Stalin, with different factions of the movement claiming the true interpretation of Maoist thought.

Lin Biao’s Role in the Cultural Revolution

WHOLE VILLAIN: Defence Minister and Communist Party Vice Chairman, the successor of Chairman Mao Tsetung was apparently assassinated by Prime Minister Chou En-lai and Chairman Mao Tsetung on September 13, 1971, as he tried to escape from the country. After his killing, most of the People’s Liberation Army’s Generals of high command were purged. It totally amazes me to know that the US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger would request Prime Minister Chou En-Lai to launch a military attack on India during that time to prevent India from taking military action to resolve the humanitarian crisis in East Pakistan.

 During this early phase of the Cultural Revolution (1966-68), President Liu Shaoqi and other Communist leaders were removed from power. (Beaten and imprisoned, Liu died in prison in 1969.) With different factions of the Red Guard movement battling for dominance, many Chinese cities reached the brink of anarchy by September 1967, when Mao had Lin send army troops in to restore order. The army soon forced many urban members of the Red Guards into rural areas, where the movement declined. Amid the chaos, the Chinese economy plummeted, with industrial production for 1968 dropping 12 percent below that of 1966.

In 1969, Lin was officially designated Mao’s successor. He soon used the excuse of border clashes with Soviet troops to institute martial law. Disturbed by Lin’s premature power grab, Mao began to maneuver against him with the help of Zhou Enlai, China’s premier, splitting the ranks of power atop the Chinese government. In September 1971, Lin died in an airplane crash in Mongolia, apparently while attempting to escape to the Soviet Union. Members of his high military command were subsequently purged, and Zhou took over greater control of the government. Lin’s brutal end led many Chinese citizens to feel disillusioned over the course of Mao’s high-minded “revolution,” which seemed to have dissolved in favor of ordinary power struggles.

Cultural Revolution Comes to an End 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – UNDYING HOPE FOR FREEDOM. US PRESIDENT RICHARD M NIXON HAS TO BE KNOWN AS BACKSTABBER OF TIBET. THE HOPE FOR TIBET’S FREEDOM IS STILL ALIVE.

Zhou acted to stabilize China by reviving the educational system and restoring numerous former officials to power. In 1972, however, Mao suffered a stroke; in the same year, Zhou learned he had cancer. The two leaders threw their support to Deng Xiaoping (who had been purged during the first phase of the Cultural Revolution), a development opposed by the more radical Jiang and her allies, who became known as the Gang of Four. In the next several years, Chinese politics teetered between the two sides. The radicals finally convinced Mao to purge Deng in April 1976, a few months after Zhou’s death, but after Mao died that September, a civil, police and military coalition pushed the Gang of Four out. Deng regained power in 1977 and would maintain control over the Chinese government for the next 20 years.

Some 1.5 million people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, and millions of others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or general humiliation. The Cultural Revolution’s short-term effects may have been felt mainly in China’s cities, but its long-term effects would impact the entire country for decades to come. Mao’s large-scale attack on the party and system he had created would eventually produce a result opposite to what he intended, leading many Chinese to lose faith in their government altogether.

WHOLE VILLAIN – ORIGINAL SIN: The mockery of the US Constitution. The US National Security Adviser, Dr. Kissinger had misused and abused his official position to meet foreign Heads of State to formulate US foreign relations without the participation of the US Secretary of State. I call this Villainous act as “Original Sin”. Both Chairman Mao Tsetung and Prime Minister Chou En-Lai were leaders of the “Cultural Revolution” during 1966-69 that participated in crimes against humanity.

LIFE UNDER SHADOW: LONELY PLANET AND IMPOSSIBLE BEAUTY OF TIBET

LIFE UNDER SHADOW: LONELY PLANET AND IMPOSSIBLE BEAUTY OF TIBET

Life Under Shadow. Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet.

My Life is Under Shadow. It means that I am a Prisoner of the Circumstances. I live as a Slave in Free Country. I am not “FREE”  and so, the Beauty of Tibet remains Impossible.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

Lonely Planet: Impossible beauty of Tibet | Stuff.co.NZ

Clipped from: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/asia/112732860/lonely-planet-impossible-beauty-of-tibet

Tibet offers fabulous monasteries, breathtaking high-altitude walks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likable cultures you will ever encounter.

A Higher Plain

For many visitors, the highlights of Tibet will be of a spiritual nature: magnificent monasteries, prayer halls of chanting monks, and remote cliffside meditation retreats. Tibet’s pilgrims – from local grandmothers murmuring mantras in temples heavy with the aromas of juniper incense and yak butter to hard-core professionals walking or prostrating themselves around Mt Kailash – are an essential part of this experience. Tibetans have a level of devotion and faith that seems to belong to an earlier, almost medieval age. It is fascinating, inspiring and endlessly photogenic.

Life Under Shadow. Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet. Restrictions require foreign travelers to pre-arrange a tour with a guide and transport for their time in Tibet, making independent travel impossible.

Restrictions require foreign travelers to pre-arrange a tour with a guide and transport for their time in Tibet, making independent travel impossible.  

The Roof of the World

Tibet’s other big draw is the elemental beauty of the highest plateau on earth. The geography here is on a humbling scale and every view is illuminated with spectacular mountain light. Your trip will take you past glittering turquoise lakes, across huge plains dotted with yaks and nomads’ tents, and over high passes draped with colorful prayer flags. Hike past the ruins of remote hermitages, stare open-mouthed at the north face of Everest or make an epic overland trip along some of the world’s wildest roads. The scope for adventure is limited only by your ability to get permits.

Politics & Permits

There’s no getting away from politics here. Whether you see Tibet as an oppressed, occupied nation or an underdeveloped province of China, the normal rules of Chinese travel simply don’t apply. Restrictions require foreign travelers to pre-arrange a tour with a guide and transport for their time in Tibet, making independent travel impossible. On the plus side, new airports, boutique hotels, and paved roads offer a level of comfort unheard of just a few years ago, so if the rigors of Tibetan travel have deterred you in the past, now might be the time to reconsider.

Life Under Shadow. Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet.

The Roof of the World.

The Tibetan People

Whatever your interests, your lasting memories of Tibet are likely to be off the bottle of Lhasa Beer you shared in a teahouse, the yak-butter tea offered by a monk in a remote monastery or the picnic enjoyed with a herding family on the shores of a remote lake. Always ready with a disarming smile, and with great tolerance and openness of heart despite decades of political turmoil and hardship, the people truly make traveling in Tibet a profound joy. Make sure you budget time away from your pre-planned tour itinerary to take advantage of these chance encounters.

Life Under Shadow. Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet.

This is an edited extract from the first edition of the 10th edition of Lonely Planet’s Tibet guidebook

Tibet’s Top Five

  1. Mt Kailash, Ngari

Worshipped by more than a billion Buddhists and Hindus, Asia’s most sacred mountain rises from the Barkha plain like a giant four-sided 6714m chörten (Buddhist stupa). Throw in the stunning nearby Lake Manasarovar and a basin that forms the source of four of Asia’s greatest rivers, and who’s to say this place really isn’t the center of the world? Travel here to one of the world’s most beautiful and remote corners brings an added bonus: the three-day pilgrim path around the mountain erases the sins of a lifetime.

  1. Barkhor Circuit, Lhasa

You never know quite what you’re going to find when you join the centrifugal tide of Tibetans circling the Jokhang Temple on the Barkhor Circuit. Pilgrims and prostrators from across Tibet, stalls selling prayer wheels and turquoise, Muslim traders, Khampa nomads in shaggy cloaks, women from Amdo sporting 108 braids, thangka (religious painting) artists and Chinese military patrols are all par for the course. It’s a fascinating microcosm of Tibet and a place you’ll come back to again and again.

Life Under Shadow. Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet.

A valid Chinese visa is required to travel to Tibet.

  1. Potala Palace, Lhasa

There are moments in travel that will long stay with you, and your first view of Lhasa’s iconic Potala Palace is one such moment. A visit to the former home of the Dalai Lamas is a spiraling descent past gold-tombed chapels, opulent reception rooms, and huge prayer halls into the bowels of a medieval castle. It’s nothing less than the concentrated spiritual and material wealth of a nation. Finish by joining the pilgrims on a walking kora (pilgrim circuit) of the entire grounds.

  1. Jokhang Temple, Lhasa

The atmosphere of hushed awe is what hits you first as you inch through the dark, medieval passageways of the Jokhang, Lhasa’s most sacred temple. Queues of wide-eyed pilgrims shuffle up and down the stairways, past medieval doorways and millennium-old murals, pausing briefly to stare in awe at golden buddhas or to top up the hundreds of butter lamps that flicker in the gloom. It’s the beating spiritual heart of Tibet, despite some damage caused by a fire in 2018. Welcome to the 14th century.

  1. Views of Mt Everest

Don’t tell the Nepal Tourism Board, but Tibet has easily the best views of the world’s most famous mountain from its northern base camp. While two-week trekking routes on the Nepal side offer only fleeting glimpses of the peak, in Tibet you can drive on a paved road right up to unobstructed views of Mt Everest’s incredible north face framed in the prayer flags of Rongphu Monastery. Bring a sleeping bag, some headache tablets and a prayer for clear skies.

Life Under Shadow. Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet.

The scope for adventure is limited only by your ability to get permits.

When to Go

High Season: (May–mid-Oct)

The warmest weather makes travel, trekking and transport easiest. Prices are at their highest, peaking in July and August. Book ahead during the 1 May and 1 October national holidays.

Shoulder: (Apr & mid-Oct–Nov)

The slightly colder weather means fewer travelers and a better range of vehicles. Prices are 20 percent cheaper than during the high season.

Low Season: (Dec–Feb)

Very few people visit Tibet in winter, so you’ll have key attractions largely to yourself. Hotel prices and many entry tickets are discounted by up to 50 percent, but some restaurants close. Tibet is closed to foreign tourists in March.

Currency: Rénmínbì, or yuán (¥)

Language: Tibetan, Mandarin Chinese

Visas: A valid Chinese visa is required. A Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) permit is also required to enter Tibet.

Money: ATMs are available in Lhasa, Shigatse and a couple of other towns. Credit cards can be used in Lhasa. Otherwise, bring cash US dollars and euros.

Mobile Phones: Buy an inexpensive local pay-as-you-go SIM or data card for cheap local calls, but get it before arriving in Tibet. Buying a mobile phone in China is cheap and easy.

Daily Costs

Midrange Budget: US$75–150

A one-way flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu: US$280–400

A one-way flight to Lhasa from Chéngdū: US$180–260

Daily shared vehicle rental per person: US$50–60

Double room with bathroom: US$30–60

Potala Palace entry ticket: US$30

This is an edited extract from the 10th edition of Lonely Planet’s Tibet guidebook, curated by Stephen Lioy, and researched and written by Stephen, Megan Eaves, and Bradley Mayhew, © 2019. Published this month, RRP: NZ$44.99; www.lonelyplanet.com

Life Under Shadow. A life confined to Lonely Planet. Impossible Beauty of Tibet.