Sam Faddis and Tibetan writer and activist Jamyang Norbu continue their ongoing conversation about the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the heroic resistance of the Tibetan people to the Chinese occupation.
Despite the brutality of the Chinese occupation, the Tibetan people refused to submit. In 1956 a new armed rebellion broke out. When that rebellion failed in Eastern Tibet the survivors streamed toward Lhasa, the nation’s capital.
Now the struggle entered a new phase, with the nation’s spiritual rule -, the Dalai Lama – fought over by both sides. The young leader was subjected to heavy pressure by the Chinese to support their occupation and help them put down further efforts at resistance.
Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) entered the picture and began to provide limited support for Tibetan freedom fighters. From a very small initial effort involving the training of a handful of Tibetans on the island of Saipan, this operation grew to involve the training of Tibetan operatives in the United States at a secret base in Colorado.
Ultimately, the CIA began to parachute teams of Tibetans back into Tibet and to airdrop them arms. The teams, communicating with CIA officers outside the country by radio, then began to organize resistance and conduct attacks against Chinese forces.
A covert action campaign that would continue in one form or another until the early 1970’s had been born. Not until Henry Kissinger and his effort to appease the Chinese Communists would the United States finally walk away from the Tibetan resistance.
JAMYANG NORBU is known as one of the leading exiled Tibetan writers at work today, principally on account of his numerous essays on Tibetan politics, history and culture appearing regularly on his blog and other websites, and in such books as Illusion & Reality, Buying the Dragon’s Teeth, Shadow Tibet and Don’t Stop the Revolution.
Although he has been denounced by the People’s Daily (Beijing) as “…the radical Tibetan separatist” and condemned by the exile Tibetan leadership for his numerous critical writings on the Dalai Lama’s policies and administration, Norbu is one of the few exile writers read inside Tibet and even in China, where translations of his essays have appeared on various websites. The Beijing based Tibetan poet and blogger, Tsering Woeser, has described him as the ‘Lu Xun of Tibet.’