Tag Archives: Tibet

India needs to prepare a blueprint for Tibetan Independence

Dr G Shreekumar Menon

Tibetans have always been good warriors, in the 1950s-60s, the Khampa freedom fighters gave a nightmare to Chinese generals for years. There are now persistent reports that the PLA has started recruiting “exclusive military formations of ethnic Tibetans”. India should not restrict itself to just a single regiment of Tibetans. We need to raise a full-fledged army of young Tibetan men and women, who need to be trained to be the first flank of aggression against the Chinese. Similarly, Tibetans need to be trained to become pilots and handle the latest flying machines. We also need to train them to become Intelligence operatives, in policing and most important, groom the brightest in political administration and to
become bureaucrats.

Khampa warrior

A 1,200-year-old Tibetan Buddhist prophecy of ’The Shambhala Warrior’ predicts ‘that there will come a time when all life on Earth will be in danger. During that time great barbarian forces will have arisen which have unfathomable destructive power. New and unforeseen technologies will appear during this time, with the potential to lay waste the world’.

When we see the world around us, it becomes apparent that many nations have developed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which can be nuclear, biological, radiological, and chemical. The destructive power accumulated in the form of nuclear weapons is sufficient to destroy all forms of life many times over.

The current Corona virus afflicting all countries is cited as an example of biological warfare, caused deliberately or accidentally. Speculations are rife that China has a role in propagating the virus, but concrete proof is lacking. Another fast-developing segment is the global hypersonic and directed-energy weapons (DEW’s) or what is also referred to as ‘New Concept Weapons’.

The Chinese also refer to such high technology weapons as ‘Assassin’s Mace’, which was a club used by a Chinese folklore hero named Shashoujian, who overwhelmed enemies by attacking in unexpected ways. Other destructive weapons in the offing are hand-held laser weapons and microwave weapons. One Chinese academic, namely Jin Canrong, the Deputy Dean of the School of International Relations of the Renmin University of China, made a startling claim in a TV program telecasted on November 11, saying that Chinese PLA soldiers had used directed energy weapons (laser weapons) against Indian soldiers during the skirmishes at the Ladakh border in 2020.  He had claimed that Chinese soldiers turned two key hilltops at the border into a “microwave oven”, forcing Indian troops to retreat. However, India has denied reports that Chinese forces at the LAC used microwave weapons against Indian troops in eastern Ladakh. With such formidable weapons on the anvil, the Shambala Prophecy is gaining in credibility, but will a Free Tibet ever become a reality? Do the Tibetans ever stand a chance against Chinese diabolical weapons and massive army manpower?

Compounding the problem is the critical observation by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, British army officer and explorer who wrote to his father; “As I have always said, the Tibetans are nothing but sheep.” 

Further, dampening the Tibetan prospects of freedom is the candid statement by American President, in the context of American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, that “Afghan leaders have to come
together,” Biden told reporters at the White House, saying the Afghan troops outnumber the Taliban and must want to fight. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation” (Reuters August 11 th 2021).

The same logic will apply for Tibetans also. But the Tibetans have no leader to lead a freedom struggle nor any blueprint for gaining independence. While the vast majority of Tibetans eke out their living selling trinkets and wool in different countries, other small groups of Tibetans, supported by Hollywood stars in America, carry banners proclaiming “Free Tibet”protesting against visiting Chinese dignitaries.

Freedom can never be won so easily. As former U.S. President Ronald Reagan had put it “A small nation, faced with the denial of its sovereignty – indeed of its very existence –reminded us that the price of freedom is high but never so costly as the loss of freedom.”

On October 8 2021, Chinese soldiers attempted an incursion along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh, near Yangtse in the Tawang sector. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Southern Tibet, and has designs to invade that area.

On August 3 2021, nearly 100 PLA soldiers with 55 horses intruded over 5 km into Uttarakhand’s Barahoti District, crossing Tun Jun La Pass, stayed in the area for over three hours, damaging some infrastructure, including a bridge.

During his visit to Ladakh, in October 2021, the Indian Army Chief, disclosed that Chinese Army had deployed its troops in considerable numbers all across Eastern Ladakh and Northern Front right up to the Eastern Command.

While India has also deployed its troops in adequate numbers, there is also a need to galvanize the Tibetans into action, for it is their homeland that needs to be liberated from Chinese clutches. American President Joe Biden’s advise to the Afghans that “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation”, holds equally good for the Tibetans. Their war for independence cannot be outsourced to India, they have to revolt and overthrow the Chinese from their lands.

The Shambala warrior’s war cry ‘Ki ki So So’ is a way to rouse the head and shoulders, a method to rouse a sense of uplifted dignity. It is a battle cry against aggression, and conquering aggression. It is a warrior’s cry that celebrates victory over war, victory over aggression, and victory over obstacles. The onerous responsibility of fighting for freedom should rest with the famed Tibetan Khampa warriors.

Khampas, the legendary and fierce warriors of Tibet, are the inhabitants of Kham a rugged mountainous area comprising of Hengduan mountains and several river valleys in Tibet. This region is referred to in Tibetan history as “Chushi Gangdruk” which means the land of six mountains and four rivers. In early 1957, a centralised armed resistance was organised under the leadership of Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang, and named ‘Chushi Gangdruk’ which in mid-1958, was transformed into an all-Tibet force, and named National Volunteer Defence Army (NVDA).

However, the Khampa warriors are known more popularly as ‘Chushi Gangdruk’. They are also referred to as ‘Buddha Warriors’ and were entrusted with the task of protecting His Holiness Dalai Lama even at the cost of their lives. Like many other martial races in different parts of the world, the Khampa warriors were expected to dedicate their life to defending their land till their last blood drop.

When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950, the Khampa warriors had put up stiff resistance against the Chinese forces by resorting to guerrilla warfare tactics. Impressed, the CIA took up the responsibility to back the Khampa warriors with arms, funding and training them in guerrilla warfare from the late 1950s until 1969. The initial set of warriors were flown to the US and were trained in Camp Hale in Colorado, and in the Pacific Island of Saipan. Later, the training shifted to a region called Mustang, which was a remote Himalayan area bordering Tibet but geographically located in Nepal.

Hence the initial batches of trained Khampas were also known as “Mustang Warriors”. Though they tasted initial success, Chinese pressure on Nepal resulted in the complete wiping out of the Khampas. Till early 1969 the CIA supported the Khampas but thereafter support was suddenly withdrawn, for some inexplicable reason, presumably it no longer served American interests. The Nepalese also played spoilsport by massacring thousands of Khampa warriors.

In the aftermath to the disastrous Indo-China conflict in 1962, there was a consensus among Indian politicians and Army professionals for the need to raise a force of Tibetans to attack the Chinese Army from within Tibet. An initiative set rolling under the then Defence Minister Krishna Menon and Lt. Gen B.N. Kaul.

Thus, was born the Special Frontier Force (SFF) under Major General S.S. Uban. Director, Intelligence Bureau B.N. Mullick, and the then Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik also played key roles in setting up the Special Frontier Forces.

After the 1962 Sino-Indian border war, Ratuk Ngawang commanded the Tibetan secret regiment, known as the Special Frontier Forces, SSF, or Establishment 22, based near Dehra Dun in Uttar Pradesh.

In the recent confrontation in eastern Ladakh in 2020, it was the Tibetan troops serving with the Indian Army who successfully fought against the Chinese.

The question of Tibetans’ recruitment in the PLA has become acute for the Central Military Commission (CMC-China) after Nyima Tenzin, a Tibetan officer, sacrificed his life during an Indian Army operation to take control of the Kailash range on the southern bank of Pangong Tso (lake) in Ladakh on August 29, 2020. On the night of August 29-30, Tibetan commandos managed to capture from the Chinese a string of strategic high-altitude areas on the Kailash range. It was a resounding victory for India. It was only then that many nations around the world discovered the existence of the Special Frontier Force (SFF) Tibetan troops, also known as Establishment 22 or Vikas Regiment.

Tibetans have always been good warriors, in the 1950s-60s, the Khampa freedom fighters gave a nightmare to Chinese generals for years. There are now persistent reports that the PLA has started recruiting “exclusive military formations of ethnic Tibetans”. India should not restrict itself to just a single regiment of Tibetans. We need to raise a full-fledged army of young Tibetan men and women, who need to be trained to be the first flank of aggression against the Chinese. Similarly, Tibetans need to be trained to become pilots and handle the latest flying machines. We also need to train them to become Intelligence operatives, in policing and most important, groom the brightest in political administration and to become bureaucrats. The Tibetans wandering in India, selling rugs and carpets will not be able to secure independence by just dreaming. They need an action plan, and India needs to prepare a blueprint for Tibetan independence.


Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS (Rtd) Ph. D (Narcotics), is Former Director General National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School of Economic Intelligence India,
Fellow, James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, USA.
Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA. 
Fellow, Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A.
AOTS Scholar, Japan

Modi storm will turn Jinping’s “China dream” into a “China Nightmare”

Dr G. Shreekumar Menon

Galwan Valley

China has silently stretched over the last decade a String of Pearls, a network of military and commercial facilities developed by them in countries falling on the Indian Ocean between the Chinese mainland and Port Sudan.It is a strategic encirclement of India, a carefully crafted designing that has been going on for the past several years.

Xi Jinping has vowed to make China great again. The historical Opium Wars had delivered a critical blow to the Chinese psyche, and, since then, reviving the ancient glory of China has been a secret ambition of all Chinese leaders. Military modernization and building “world class forces” is an integral component in the strategy to make China great again. Land borders and coastlines are being redrawn aggressively to boost the geostrategic status. The Indo-Tibetan border (China occupied Tibet – COT) has been activated to trigger significant tensions. Xi Jinping is opiated with delusions of a grand ‘China Dream’, and redrawing the Indo-Tibetan border is a priority ambition.

The hectic military preparations never anticipated the ‘Modi Storm’ at the other end, that threatens to convert the ‘China Dream’ into a ‘China Nightmare’. This will doubtless be a challenging time, Xi’s greedy vision encountering Modi’s resolute defiance.

Ever since the Chinese forcibly occupied Tibet in 1950 and enslaved the Tibetans, they have aggressively pursued a policy of claiming large chunks of Indian territory under the garb that it is disputed.

After the occupation of Tibet, wars erupted between India and China in 1962, conflict in NathuLa the Tulung La ambush in 1967, 2017 Doklam Plateau standoff, and the latest 2020 Ladakh confrontation.

There is an air of trepidation around the world, two nuclear forces in confrontation mode, a belligerent China intimidating a resurgent India under the dynamic tutelage of Shri. Narendra Modi. The pusillanimity of the Nehruvian era stands replaced by a dynamic urge to repulse, to compel cooperation and readiness to match Chinese bellicosity.

Tibet is an ancient nation with a recorded history dating back to 127 B.C.E. The Tibetan Empire reached its peak during the 7th and 8th centuries, conquering parts of Nepal and India, the Silk Route states, and briefly even T’ang China. The Tibetan kings imported Buddhism from India from the 6th to the 9th century, and became so devoted to its teachings of nonviolence and enlightenment that they neglected their empire.

In 1949 and 1950, the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China invaded the eastern provinces of Amdo and Kham. In 1951, over forty thousand battle hardened Chinese soldiers marched unopposed into the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. It took the People’s Liberation Army only two weeks to surround and capture Tibet’s army, including the country’s governor-general and his staff. With the army destroyed and no response to Tibet’s appeals to the United States, India and Britain for aid, the newly enthroned fifteen-year-old Dalai Lama sent a delegation to Beijing to negotiate. On May 23, 1951, the delegation had no other option but to sign the Seventeen-Point Agreement which accepted Chinese control over Tibet in exchange for promises to leave the Dalai Lama in control of the country’s internal affairs and Tibet’s religion and culture untouched—promises the Chinese broke almost immediately. Since the invasion, an estimated 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed as a result of the Chinese occupation. By 1969, approximately 6,250 monasteries, the cultural centres of Tibetan life, had been destroyed. Prisons and labour camps are among the most common methods of persecution. Numerous Tibetans have perished from starvation and hard labour while in captivity. The most serious threat facing Tibetans is the systematic transfer of Chinese people into Tibet. More than 8 million Chinese have now settled in Tibet, a population transfer that threatens to overwhelm the remaining 6 million Tibetans and their distinct ancient Buddhist culture. Most of Tibet’s monasteries were destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s during China’s Cultural Revolution. Thousands of Tibetans are believed to have been killed during periods of repression and martial law. The Dalai Lama says 1.2 million people were killed under Chinese rule.

In March 1959, spiritual leader Dalai Lama escaped from his homeland in Tibet amid a Chinese crackdown and was granted refuge in India. India granted the Tibet leader asylum on April 3, 1959 and permission to establish a government-in-exile in the northern hill station of Dharamsala, already a sanctuary for thousands of Tibetan exiles fleeing Chinese repression.

Not satisfied with gobbling up Tibet, the Chinese want to roll down the Himalayas into India. If India is not alert it will face a similar situation as Tibet. Vast chunks of Indian land are being claimed by the Chinese from time to time to suit their expansionist designs. Buddhist pacifism and Hindu tolerance cannot subdue Chinese bellicosity. The time has come to resurrect Warrior-Monks or Dom Doms of Tibet.

The Indo-Tibetan border is now claimed to be the Indo-Chinese border, new border disputes are being raked up and China now occupies 38,000 sq km of Indian territory in Aksai Chin. Fresh claims have been made on Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. These led to the recent clashes between the PLA and the Indian Army in Galwan area on 15 June 2020.

Click to download and read The Angry Himalayas


Dr. G. Shreekumar Menon, IRS, (Rtd) PhD (Narcotics), is former Director General, NationalAcademy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School OfEconomic Intelligence India, Fellow, James Martin Center For Non Proliferation Studies,USA. Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA , Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A.,AOTS Scholar, Japan

Zorawar Singh – the legendary General of Jammu and Kashmir

General Zorawar Singh

Newsroom24x7 remembers Zorawar Singh, the legendary General of Maharaja Gulab Singh – the Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, on his 235th Anniversary (b.13 April 1786, in a Dogra family in village Kahlur, now Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh). Every Indian citizen should cherish the memory and legacy of this great warrior who will always be remembered for the conquests in Ladakh, Tibet, Baltistan and Iskardu. General Zorawar Singh is popularly referred to as the “Conqueror of Ladakh and Tibet“. As tribute to the great warrior we are reproducing an article on him by Maj Gen Goverdhan Singh Jamwal.

Maj Gen Goverdhan Singh Jamwal

Zorawar, the legendary General of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, earned for himself the title of “Little Napoleon of India’ and has been described as the military genius of the nineteenth century by Cunningham. “During the long history of India, no Army from Hindustan had attacked Tibet. No Indian ruler had thought of conquering it and no Indian General accustomed to the heat of the plains had ever dared face the rigour of the Tibetan climate. Zorawar conceived the idea of conquering the Central Tibetan province for his master and prepared an expedition for that purpose.”

These Trans-Himalayan Campaigns fought by General Zorawar Singh, over a century ago, have suddenly become important for us, for with the Chinese aggression we find a large portion of our Army deployed in those very areas. Even the lapse of this period has not changed some basic factors of warfare in these regions and the effects of terrain, altitude and climate remain very much the same. We can, therefore, still learn some useful lessons from the study of his campaigns.

Click to download full article

In the Comment Box below write two sentences on the sharp contrast between the two

China operationalises its Hydropower station in Tibet

Newsroom24x7 Desk

China's hydropower station in tibetBeijing : China had been working on a heavily invested Hydropower station in Brahmaputra river in Tibet and had begun its operations from the first unit last November. Finally, China today operationalized its fully-functional USD 1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra river, which has raised concerns in India over the likelihood of disrupting water supplies. China Gezhouba Group, a major hydropower contractor based in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province in central China, informed that all six of the station’s units were incorporated into the power grid today, Located in the Gyaca County, Shannan Prefecture, the Station utilizes rich water resources of Brahmaputra known in Tibet as Yarlung Zangbo River, a major river which flows through Tibet into India and later into Bangladesh.The dam – due to its location and design infrastructure – considered to be the world’s highest-altitude hydropower station and the largest of its kind – will produce produces 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.It will alleviate the electricity shortage in central Tibet and empower the development of the electricity-strapped region. It is also an important energy base in central Tibet. Investment of the hydropower station, about 140 kms from Tibetan capital Lhasa, totalled 9.6 billion yuan (about USD 1.5 billion).

Thankfully understanding India’s discomfort over this issue, Operationalising the dam, China said it will take into consideration India’s concerns and will remain in contact with New Delhi on this. Asked about India’s concerns over the dam, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here that the two countries are in touch with each other over the river water issues during high level visits. ‘We will take into consideration the concerns of the Indian side and will remain in contact with them,’ she said.A plan has been chartered out wherein, when electricity would be in excess in summer season, part of the electricity will be transmitted to the neighboring Qinghai province.

An Indian Inter-Ministerial Expert Group (IMEG) on the Brahmaputra in 2013 said the dams were being built on the upper reaches and called for further monitoring considering their impact on the flow of waters to the lower reaches. The IMEG noted that the three dams – Jiexu, Zangmu and Jiacha – which were flowing within 25 kms of each other, are also situated around 550 kms from the Indian border, hence India had been raking up this issue with China for the past few years. Under an understanding reached in 2013, Chinese side agreed to provide more flood data of Brahmaputra from May to October instead of June to October in the previous agreements river water agreements in 2008 and 2010.

India is concerned that if the waters are diverted, then projects on the Brahmaputra, particularly the Upper Siang and Lower Suhansri projects in Arunachal Pradesh, might get affected.