The Role of the CIA: Behind the Dalai Lama's Holy Cloak
by Michael Backman
Picked Up from Global Research - Editor's Note: "This incisive article by Michael Backman outlines the relationship of the Dalai Lama and his organization to US intelligence. The Dalai Lama has been on the CIA payroll since the late 1950s. He is an instrument of US intelligence. An understanding of this longstanding relationship to the CIA is essential, particuarly in the light of recent events. In all likelihood US intelligence was behind the protest movement, organized to occur a few months prior to the Beijing Olympic games."
M. C. 23 March 2008
Rarely do journalists challenge the Dalai Lama.
Partly it is because he is so charming and engaging. Most published accounts of him breeze on as airily as the subject, for whom a good giggle and a quaint parable are substitutes for hard answers. But this is the man who advocates greater autonomy for millions of people who are currently Chinese citizens, presumably with him as head of their government. So, why not hold him accountable as a political figure?
No mere spiritual leader, he was the head of Tibet's government when he went into exile in 1959. It was a state apparatus run by aristocratic, nepotistic monks that collected taxes, jailed and tortured dissenters and engaged in all the usual political intrigues. (The Dalai Lama's own father was almost certainly murdered in 1946, the consequence of a coup plot.)
The government set up in exile in India and, at least until the 1970s, received $US1.7 million a year from the CIA.
The money was to pay for guerilla operations against the Chinese, notwithstanding the Dalai Lama's public stance in support of non-violence, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
The Dalai Lama himself was on the CIA's payroll from the late 1950s until 1974, reportedly receiving $US15,000 a month ($US180,000 a year).
The funds were paid to him personally, but he used all or most of them for Tibetan government-in-exile activities, principally to fund offices in New York and Geneva, and to lobby internationally.
Details of the government-in-exile's funding today are far from clear. Structurally, it comprises seven departments and several other special offices. There have also been charitable trusts, a publishing company, hotels in India and Nepal, and a handicrafts distribution company in the US and in Australia, all grouped under the government-in-exile's Department of Finance.
The government was involved in running 24 businesses in all, but decided in 2003 that it would withdraw from these because such commercial involvement was not appropriate.
Several years ago, I asked the Dalai Lama's Department of Finance for details of its budget. In response, it claimed then to have annual revenue of about $US22 million, which it spent on various health, education, religious and cultural programs.
The biggest item was for politically related expenditure, at $US7 million. The next biggest was administration, which ran to $US4.5 million. Almost $US2 million was allocated to running the government-in-exile's overseas offices.
For all that the government-in-exile claims to do, these sums seemed remarkably low.
It is not clear how donations enter its budgeting. These are likely to run to many millions annually, but the Dalai Lama's Department of Finance provided no explicit acknowledgment of them or of their sources.
Certainly, there are plenty of rumours among expatriate Tibetans of endemic corruption and misuse of monies collected in the name of the Dalai Lama.
Many donations are channelled through the New York-based Tibet Fund, set up in 1981 by Tibetan refugees and US citizens. It has grown into a multimillion-dollar organisation that disburses $US3 million each year to its various programs.
Part of its funding comes from the US State Department's Bureau for Refugee Programs.
Like many Asian politicians, the Dalai Lama has been remarkably nepotistic, appointing members of his family to many positions of prominence. In recent years, three of the six members of the Kashag, or cabinet, the highest executive branch of the Tibetan government-in-exile, have been close relatives of the Dalai Lama.
An older brother served as chairman of the Kashag and as the minister of security. He also headed the CIA-backed Tibetan contra movement in the 1960s.
A sister-in-law served as head of the government-in-exile's planning council and its Department of Health.
A younger sister served as health and education minister and her husband served as head of the government-in-exile's Department of Information and International Relations.
Their daughter was made a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile. A younger brother has served as a senior member of the private office of the Dalai Lama and his wife has served as education minister.
The second wife of a brother-in-law serves as the representative of the Tibetan government-in-exile for northern Europe and head of international relations for the government-in-exile. All these positions give the Dalai Lama's family access to millions of dollars collected on behalf of the government-in-exile.
The Dalai Lama might now be well-known but few really know much about him. For example, contrary to widespread belief, he is not a vegetarian. He eats meat. He has done so (he claims) on a doctor's advice following liver complications from hepatitis. I have checked with several doctors but none agrees that meat consumption is necessary or even desirable for a damaged liver.
What has the Dalai Lama actually achieved for Tibetans inside Tibet?
If his goal has been independence for Tibet or, more recently, greater autonomy, then he has been a miserable failure.
He has kept Tibet on the front pages around the world, but to what end? The main achievement seems to have been to become a celebrity. Possibly, had he stayed quiet, fewer Tibetans might have been tortured, killed and generally suppressed by China.
In any event, the current Dalai Lama is 72 years old. His successor — a reincarnation — will be appointed as a child and it will be many years before he plays a meaningful role. As far as China is concerned, that is one problem that will take care of itself, irrespective of whether or not John Howard or Kevin Rudd meet the current Dalai Lama.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php? ... a&aid=8426
Posted by Alex Constantine at 4:06 PM
A glimpse into the Dalai Lama’s final years in Tibet, before his fleeing China in 1959, will allow people to form a clear mind picture of what Tibet was like under the rein of ‘His Holiness’— In 1956, the Dalai Lama, with the pretext that the central government ‘would soon move on Lhasa,’ issued an appeal for gold and jewels to construct another throne for himself. This, he argued, would help rid Tibet of ‘bad omens.’ One hundred and twenty tons were collected. When the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959, he was preceded by more than 60 tons of treasure.
Till 1959, Tibet’s Buddhist monastic nobility represented by the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan elites had long controlled all land in the Himalaya region on behalf of the ‘gods.’ In a then society of feudal serfdom and slavery, much the way as the medieval Catholic Church exploited peasants in feudal Europe, they monopolized Tibet’s wealth by exacting tribute and labor services from serfs and herders. Tibetan serfs and herders had little personal freedom. Without the permission of the priests, or lamas, they could not do anything, and were considered appendages to the monastery.
The Dalai Lama was the most supreme and powerful serf owner, and any subordinate acting against the supreme was considered rebel and could be brutally mutilated or killed immediately. Shrouded in the darkness of theocracy, old Tibet was backward in both economy and culture, and the Tibetan people lived in dire poverty while enormous wealth accumulated in the monasteries and in the Dalai Lama’s palace in Lhasa.
Shangri-La, ‘the paradise on the earth,’ as a fanciful land to many and an eternal myth which can always conjure up people’s imagination about all beauty and serenity, was in those days literally a ‘lost paradise’ to ordinary Tibetans, where they were deprived of even the basic living conditions. The Dalai Lama, however, did nothing for the general good of the Tibetan society, instead, he and the leading few tried desperately to solidify the exploitative system in the name of defending Tibetan culture and religion. Once they felt their privileges threatened, they would forgo the disguise of deity and even turn to violence.
Throughout these years, the words ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ have found their way in the vocabulary of the ‘government-in-exile,’ operating out of Dharamsala in India. But the Dalai Lama’s commitment to democracy seems brittle, as he has yet to recognize the separation of church and state as a ‘modern democratic principle.’ Even worse, as a political figure clad in saffron, the Dalai Lama has for years ceaselessly lobbied around to rally the international support for his so-called ‘Greater Tibet autonomy,’ but in actually, ‘Tibetan independence’ in a disguised form. The hypocritical nature of the Dalai Lama and the ‘government-in-exile’ was further exposed by its relationship with the U.S CIA, and its wicked plots within the Chinese territory to seed and incite the ethnic feud among the Tibetans, which is doomed to a failure, as more and more Tibetan people begin to realize only through stability and common prosperity, can a real Shangri-La descend upon the snow-capped plateau.
In recent days, the poor shows staged by the ‘government-in-exile’ and its affiliate ‘Tibetan Youth Congress’ have gone far beyond redemption, and their secessionist nature is discerning to anyone with the rational thinking, Tibetan people inclusive. In the ordinary Tibetans’ mind, the dreamy land, Shangri-La, means a common blessing shared by all, not a sort of paradise accommodating merely the happy few. But a place of common happiness in Tibetans’ dream is by no means the thing that the Dalai Lama would and could bring to them.
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/20 ... 282502.htm
http://aconstantineblacklist.blogspot.c ... -holy.html