The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong: The Untold Story of My Struggle for Tibet

By Gyalo Thondup

Shortly ahead of hour of darkness on March 17, 1959, the Dalai Lama, with no his glasses and dressed as a standard Tibetan solider, slipped out of his summer time place of abode with simply 4 aides at his facet. At that second, he grew to become the symbolic head of the Tibetan executive in exile, and Gyalo Thondup, the one one of many Dalai Lama’s brothers to not don the gowns of a Buddhist monk, grew to become the fulcrum for the independence movement.

The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong tells the intense tale of the Dalai Lama’s relations, the exile of the religious chief of Tibetan Buddhism from Tibet, and the long-lasting political problem that has visible distant and bleakly appealing Tibet all yet disappear as an autonomous nation-state.

For the final sixty years, Gyalo Thondup has been on the on the middle of the epic fight to guard and improve Tibet within the face of unreliable allies, overwhelming odds, and devious competitors, taking part in an completely made up our minds and designated position in a chilly warfare high-altitude superpower contention. the following, for the 1st time, he finds how he stumbled on himself whisked among Chiang Kai-shek, Zhou Enlai, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the CIA, as he attempted to safe, on behalf of his brother, the way forward for Tibet.

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Ngabo was once linked to a gaggle of younger, particularly liberal, modern-minded officers who didn't continuously see eye-to-eye with the conservative faction surrounding Taktra Regent. He have been stationed in Kham prior in his profession and had labored such a lot lately in Lhasa with Surkhang, helping him with quite a few army info, from dealing with offers to paying the troops. Ngabo’s appointment as governor-general used to be unforeseen. His upward push in rank from Tsipon to form, similar to that of a Kashag member, were quickly. Even Ngabo himself later admitted to me that he have been ailing ready for his new task. Ngabo was once changing Lungshar’s son Lhalu, who had turn into governor-­general of Kham in 1947 a number of months after becoming a member of Surkhang within the arrest of Reting Regent. no longer lengthy after the Communists declared victory in Beijing, the Taktra forces, together with Lhalu, had eventually woke up to the belief that the chinese language may assault in any case. Belatedly, they attempted to start construction a military able to resisting a chinese language assault. however the efforts have been a lot too little and much too overdue. the complete Tibetan military had basically 13 thousand troops in November 1949,1 whilst the efforts to modernize started in earnest. at the eve of the chinese language invasion, a few twenty-five hundred of these troops have been stationed in Kham. every body knew that this tiny, ill-equipped, slightly proficient Tibetan military was once no fit for the tremendously extra various, greater led, higher expert, higher built, more matured, and battle-hardened chinese language. The Tibetan govt didn't want to be held answerable for the inevitable defeat. Ngabo observed the choice to nominate him governor-general as an try to shift the onus of loss clear of Lhalu, Taktra, and their supporters. 2 With Ngabo responsible, the blame for military’s failure might relaxation with him. yet Ngabo by no means had any purpose of placing up a true resistance. He knew that defeat used to be definite. He desired to keep away from pointless bloodshed. He believed negotiated payment was once the simplest wish for Tibet, and he set approximately dismantling a few of the defenses installed position by way of Lhalu, fearing they may impress a chinese language assault. however the chinese language wanted no provocation. via October 12, their troops had crossed the higher reaches of the Drichu River—known to the chinese language because the Jinsha and in English because the top Yangtze—and have been advancing on Chamdo. Ngabo’s aides started frantically radioing Lhasa for information. there has been no reaction. for 3 days, radio messages time and again went out from Chamdo to Lhasa, yet nonetheless there has been no reaction. The Tibetan executive was once actually out to lunch. The Kashag used to be in the middle of one in all its annual picnics, lavish outdoors affairs that went on for days. The directions must wait until eventually their picnic was once over. Ngabo and his employees fled Chamdo secretly within the evening instead of staying to steer the struggle. The neighborhood Khampas have been left to fend for themselves. Ngabo had commandeered the horses that may have allowed them an break out. a few say that Ngabo was once simply as frightened of being killed through the Khampas as he was once of the chinese language.

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