Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:05 am

Part 1 of 2

Coocoola [Kukula] of Sikkim: Lacham Kusho, That's Going with the Gods
by Simon Schreyer
Journalism on Culture and Adventure
[Google translated from German]



Coocoola of Sikkim was a daring daughter of Tibet. She embodied integrity, grace and compassion. Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet) saw in her the ideal balance between the old East and the Western Modern. Coocoola's life story begins like a medieval fairytale and ends like a world political thriller. Life picture of a fascinating woman who lost her home twice but never resigned.


Cloudy clouds nestle in dark green mountainside. Thick mists of late monsoon drift through tea plantations and rice fields in slow motion. We are located in the fashionable, British hill station Darjeeling, in the north of India. The third highest mountain in the world towers above everything: the five-peaked Kangchenjunga (8586 m), "the five treasure chambers of snow". His powerful presence can only be guessed on the horizon at this time of the year.


Here is born on September 6, 1924, in the Tibetan Year of the Wood Mouse, Princess Coocoola. Posterity knows its full name as: Semla (Princess) Pema Tsedeun Namgyal Yabshi Phönkhang, her spiritual nickname is Lacham Kusho ("Noble Consort of the Gods"). But even in her childhood, an English governess finds a lasting nickname when playing hide-and-seek - Coo-Coo-La.

Coocoola's father is the Chögyal (king) of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal (1893-1963), a filigree sovereign and a subtle landscape painter with a penchant for melancholy, who ever before, even before the cocktail hour, one or two behind the gilded Binde tilts to shoulder the burden of representation. With the numerous spirits of the royal palace of Gangtok he maintains good contact, at night and also in broad daylight. Like them he floats silently through the palaces.

Tashi Namgyal



In all the photos that exist of him, the Chögyal of Sikkim works, one can not say it in other words: raptured. He also wears round darkened glasses on almost all photos. His hypnotic paintings, decorated with mystical vignettes of purple glaciers, blue-green lakes and yellow sunlit skies, are in the style of Nicholas Roerich (with whom he is known) or Rockwell Kent (whom he admires). What they lack is three-dimensionality, which may be due to an eye condition - the painting monarch is almost blind in the right eye.

He comes from the Tibetan vassal family of the Namgyal (literally: "the victorious"), whose ancestor Guru Tashi, a Tanguten prince, in the 13th Century from Kham in eastern Tibet on the Himalayas south migrated. The Namgyal are priest kings, Himalayan aristocracy. Since the 17th century, they have not only dominated Sikkim, but also Bhutan and Ladakh on the order of Lhasa.

The Sikkim Royal Family, 1926: Tashi Namgyal with his sons Choley (l.) And Palden Thondup (r.). Beside him his wife, Kunzang Dechen Tshomo, with Kula (Pema Chöki) on her lap and Coocoola at her feet.

Coocoola's mother, Kunzang Dechen Tshomo, is a much more robust person and resolute personality. It is on the one hand also a Namgyal, on the other hand from the ancient, Central Tibetan family of Ragashar (literally: "radiant", "beautiful") originating from Dokhar, which refers directly to one of the six primitive families of Tibet, the Ghazie clan.

Dundul Namgyal married Yangchen Dolkar (dbyangs can sgrol dkar) from the aristocratic Ragashar family (ra ga shar, also known as Dokhar) and had five children. Their second youngest son Tseten Gyurme was recognized as the Seventh Drigung Chetsang, Tendzin Trinle Lhundrub ('bri gung che tshang 07 bstan 'dzin 'phrin las lhun grub, b. 1946), one of the two heads of the Drigung Kagyu tradition.

-- Tsarong Dundul Namgyal, b.1920 - d.2011, by Tenzin Dickyi

Legend has it that these six families originated from the love affair between two semi-divine beings: a monkey powerful in language and teleportation, and a Dakini (or "Khandroma") dancing through the spheres, a veritable demon girl. (* see bonus )

Based on this legend, the Ragashar family has been living in Lhasa for a family home just across the Choglakhang, Tibet's holiest temple. The daughters of the house are in high esteem among the aristocrats and are sought-after pieces of jewelery to decorate their own family tree. They are also considered as genealogical strengthening of the same, because the Ragashar women are predominantly of balanced temperament, full of sense of class and stately.

High Cabinet Ministers of the Dalai Lama and rich merchants in Lhasa and Shigaze regularly stop for the hand of a ragashar. So does Tashi Namgyal, the XI. Chögyal of Sikkim followed by the Ragashar-daughter Kunzang Dechen Tshomo to Gangtok and three sons (Kunzang Paljor aka Choley, Palden Thondup and Jigdal Tsering aka George) and three daughters (Pema Tsedeun aka Coocoola, Pema Chöki aka Kula and Sonam Palden aka Jeanla). Because she has another daughter through an extramarital relationship with a monk, she lives separated from her husband near Gangtok.

Market scene in Sikkim's capital Gangtok, circa 1950.

Coocoola is a curious, fat and friendly child. Like her siblings, she is traditionally educated at St. Joseph's Convent in Kalimpong, one of the best British schools in India. She starts dating at the age of 13 (in Sikkim alcohol is not as taboo as in India), starts smoking, reads European literature (Stendhal, Dante and Kipling), secretly watches movies with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo.

She spends her teenage years thriving like a wild orchid, in Kalimpong's international atmosphere full of Indian traders, mysterious European travelers and spies of all the great powers of that charged era.
Like tectonic plates, the fields of world politics are converging, the quake can no longer be far away. The royal children of Sikkim feel that too.

Sikkim's King Tashi Namgyal paints Coocoola, his eldest daughter, in the garden of the palace. Photo: Palden Thondup

Russia, China and the United Kingdom are more or less openly vying for the mineral and mineral rich Tibet, the water tower of Asia. More than three billion people in Southeast Asia live off the waters of the eight rivers that spring from the Tibetan Plateau. Immortalized in an ancient iconographic culture, marked by the Bön's primitive animistic religion and tamed by the compassionate message of the Buddha, Tibet is an independent theocracy at that time. Almost independent.

There are no police in our sense of the word. Evil-doers are publicly sentenced. The punishments are pretty drastic but they seem to suit the mentality of the population. I was told of a man who had stolen a golden butter-lamp from one of the temples in Kyirong. He was convicted of the offence, and what we would think an inhuman sentence was carried out. His hands were publicly cut off and he was then sewn up in a wet yak-skin. After this had been allowed to dry, he was thrown over a precipice.....

He told us something about the life of the robbers. They lived in groups in three or four tents which serve as headquarters for their campaigns. These are conducted as follows: heavily armed with rifles and swords they force their way into a nomad’s tent and insist on hospitable entertainment on the most lavish scale available. The nomad in terror brings out everything he has. The Khampas fill their bellies and their pockets and taking a few cattle with them, for good measure, disappear into the wide-open spaces. They repeat the performance at another tent every day till the whole region has been skinned. Then they move their headquarters and begin again somewhere else. The nomads, who have no arms, resign themselves to their fate, and the Government is powerless to protect them in these remote regions. However, if once in a way a district officer gets the better of these footpads in a skirmish, he is not the loser by it for he has a right to all the booty. Savage punishment is meted out to the evildoers, who normally have their arms hacked off. But this does not cure the Khampas of their lawlessness. Stories were told of the cruelty with which they sometimes put their victims to death. They go so far as to slaughter pilgrims and wandering monks and nuns.

-- Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer

For the League of Nations has, despite the XIII. Dalai Lamas's request for recognition of state independence in 1913, gave no clear answer. Too large are the secret and less secret interests of the major powers in accessing Tibet, which has its own language and writing, a government with a council of ministers, stamps, passports, envoys, its own national flag and above all its own currency (Srang) - everything Insignia of sovereignty, which can no longer be seen in China since the boxer rebellion of 1911 and the decline of the empire.

In 1903, under the power-blinded super-imperialist Lord Curzon and the religiously abducted General Younghusband, the British undertook an equally insidious and cruel "expedition" to Tibet in order to anticipate a supposed Russian campaign. The English writer and China correspondent of the Times, Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond inventor Ian), will later speak in his preface to the English first edition of Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet of a campaign that "of both daring and was characterized by compassion".

In fact, British troops show little compassion as they cross the border into Tibet and face a small army. In a massacre, the British mow down more than a thousand poorly armed Tibetans with Maxim machine guns (mostly by back shots when most of the Tibetan soldiers are already fleeing) and succeed in establishing a trade mission in Lhasa.
All contacts to the XIII. The Dalai Lama had failed until then, due to the Tibetans' unwillingness to answer the British. A single envelope from the Potala Palace had reached London, its contents: a brittle breeze of yak-dung.

When Younghusband camped with his troops in 1904 before Lhasa, the XIII. Dalai Lama has already fled to Mongolia. Negotiations on a British protectorate and the construction of a road link between Tibet and India are therefore not concluded. Understandably, London has since diplomatically held back on the issue of independent Tibet. However, only superficially: through a treaty with the Manchu dynasty in 1906 on the inviolability of Tibet and a second agreement with Russia the following year, which grants the Chinese sovereign rights over Tibet, the British care for even more hopeless confusion about the independence of Tibet.

Much of the political situation in Sikkim, whose border is a few kilometers north of Darjeeling and Kalimpong is unclear for many decades. This can be illustrated by the fact that the two places once belonged to Sikkim and were "leased" by British India, albeit with no time limit and no return - except that it is the tiny country (Sikkim is about the size of the Austrian Salzburg) is spared military annexation.


The mountain dwarf state between Nepal and Bhutan has been under the protectorate of British India in this ambiguous way since the mid-19th century. In 1868, the British refuse an invasion of Tibetans who want to regain their sovereignty over Sikkim. In 1918 Sikkim received full self-government and in 1922 became a member of the Chamber of Princes, the unification of all Indian principalities. Tashi Namgyal is thus established as a recognized ruler of his tiny country, he leads free elections, begins to reform the country and to establish closer trade relations with India.

This is the world where Princess Coocoola grows up with her siblings. Against her two older brothers, who are full of practical jokes, she has to prevail early. The family is not without quirks and rich in individual, strong personalities. But without exception, all members of the Namgyal clan of Sikkim are of benevolence, occasionally sarcastic humor and passionate sophistication. It would take the bizarre Ingenuity of a Wes Anderson as a director, if one wanted to implement the everyday life in the Royal Palace of Gangtok adequately artful and funny for the cinema.

Palden Thondup is interested in technology, is a passionate Leica photographer whose images are published in the National Geographic Magazine, and amateur radio broadcasters with international license, plus he has a great deal of Buddhist-philosophical knowledge. He wants to occupy scientific subjects in Cambridge and then become a monk in one of the three major abbeys of Lhasa.

However, just like his father, Tashi (whose older brother Sidkeong contracted jaundice in 1914 and fell victim to a regurgitation with intravenously administered brandy), he is denied this call to a contemplative life. As the eldest son of Tashi Namgyal, the trained pilot Choley Paljor crashes 1941 in an aerial battle over Peshawar, Thondup stands as successor to the throne of Sikkim.

Three Graces: The Royal Daughters Sikkims, from left to right: Pema Chöki (Kula), Pema Tsedeun (Coocoola), Sonam Palden (Jeanla). Photo: Pinterest

The youngest brother Jigdal Tsering, called George-La, suffers from panic attacks. He is of a touching character but of the spiritualized worldly devotion of the Father, or - who knows - blessed with the supernatural devotion to a more eternal, timeless world; a world beyond politics, intrigues and vanities.

When he is to be married, it is his eldest sister Coocoola, who introduces him to a number of dignified young ladies at a garden party in Kalimpong. She eventually manages to pair him with a delightful Tibetan named Suang-La. Even the youngest sister Jeanla is of a deeply withdrawn character, speaks little and hardly goes out of the house. She is still, albeit late in life, the mother of a boy who is recognized as a high reincarnation.

Pema Chöki (or "Kula", as she is called in Gangtok), Coocoola's middle sister, 15 months younger, is extroverted, well-read, and very pretty. Like Jeanla, she pursued her father, with a thin face, a few lovely spots of birthmark around the corners of her mouth and a quick comprehension. She becomes one of the best students in West Bengal and for a few years a teacher at Gangtok Elementary School.

Fosco Maraini, the Florentine photographer, poet and scholar, gets to know young Kula as a member of a Giuseppe Tucci expedition as he makes a stop in Gangtok before heading into the glowing plateaus of Tibet.

Kula, Coocoola's younger sister, skiing at Nathu-La, 1948. Photo: Fosco Maraini

In his classic Secret Tibet (1952), whose iconic cover adorns Kula in a traditional Tibetan fur hat, Maraini Sikkim describes in beautiful colors - steaming, breathing, digesting jungles; hundreds of species of butterflies; steep, wooded hillsides and an almost firework-like botanical variety; the tiny fairytale town between two hilltops and the associated fairytale palace - even if this is more reminiscent of a larger bungalow.

At dinner in the palace of Gangtok, he observes the old, venerable king, who in delicate maneuvers fights with a pea that does not want to be impaled on a fork. He befriends the digestive at the fire with Kula and she returns as blatantly as guileless his flirting attempts, but without compromising even for a second.

Rather, she is a caring hostess and urbane emissary of her Tibetan culture, who brings him fresh fruit and a gramophone with music by Mozart, Brahms and Scarlatti on his return to Gangtok. The two talk about European literature, Milarepa, the peculiarities of the Tibetan Gods sky and their fiancée, whom she will soon follow to Lhasa.

Coocoola is married at 16, so very early, as is the custom among the Tibetans. Actually Coocoola wants to study, but then a letter from Tibet arrives for her in the palace of Gangtok. The heraldic seal shows five yak tails - highest Lhasa nobility. Sey Kusho Gompo Tsering Phönkhang, called Phöntsok, governor of Gyantse and eldest son of an influential Yabshi family who has already spawned two Dalai lamas, wants a Sikkimese princess to be his wife. Chögyal Tashi does not pressure his daughter. He allows Coocoola to start her studies, but the Phönkhangs insist on a speedy wedding.

Coocoola at her wedding, 1941, with her aunt Chöni Dorji, later Queen of Bhutan.

Coocoola now makes her own condition, which is almost never expressed in polyandrian Tibet: she will only marry the eldest son, Gompo Phöntsok, and not his younger brother. Vielmännerei does not meet their views.

When the parents-in-law also set aside her younger brother at the wedding, she repeats her unheard-of request. Coocoola is thus the first woman in Tibet's history who, at her own request, marries only one man and not his brothers. Whether the younger Phönkhang brother tasted this unintentional abuse or not is not known.

For the move from Sikkim to Tibet, Coocoola is provided with a tiny entourage with two court ladies, a porter and two horses. She will often ride this nearly three-week ride across the Nathu-La ("Passing Ears") and through the Chumbi Valley to Gyantse and Lhasa, passing the majestic snow cone of the Chomolhari (7330m, "Lady of the Gods").

Also with her three children (Jigme, Chimie and Sodenla), which she gives birth in the forties and fifties. In the caravan, she almost always stays in the saddle - only when passing villages and settlements she retreats into a Palanquin - and is always armed with a muzzle loader and a Luger pistol, which she knows how to deal with. The area, especially between Phari and Gyantse, is notorious for both brash and daring bandits.

Sense of adventure: Coocoola with a Horse Man, on the way between Gangtok and Chumbi.

The life of the Tibetan aristocracy in Lhasa takes place between picnics, festivals and days long wedding celebrations on the riverbank. Since she belongs to the uppermost social class of old Tibet, Coocoola lacks nothing. She comes through the dealers of Barkhor fashionable fabrics and patterns from India and Europe, reads Vogue, Claudine and Harper's Bazaar and makes top-stylish dresses for themselves and their girlfriends. Thanks to the presence of film cameras, the first documented catwalk shows in Tibet are created.

In 1942 and 1943, a two-man camera team from the Office of Strategic Services, a division of the US Army (and precursor to the CIA), visited Sikkim and Tibet. In the resulting film Inside Tibet, the viewer encounters in the first scene of the seventeen-year-old Kula, who inspects highly interested gifts of Americans in front of the palace of Gangtok, next to her the British ambassador Sir Basil Gould.

In the scenes created in Lhasa (at 15:32 and 27:58 minutes), Coocoola is seen with her first baby on the flat roof of the Phönkhang house, and later (at 26:07) with relatives (slightly tipsy) and her husband in front of him Estate Tsarongs. The package of a gift from the American filmmaker to the then seven-year-old XIV. Dalai Lama is missing a bow and so Coocoola provides her headband made of red velvet. The gift, personally selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is a watertight wristwatch that the adolescent Dalai Lama later sank in the goldfish pond of Norbulingka Park to test its waterability - and never again.

In the house of Tsarongs, with its exhilaratingly colorful garden and a willow and poplar grove on the Kyi Chu ("happy river"), Coocoola goes in and out. Tsarong Dzasa, her uncle, is a self-made man and Tibetan folk hero, who was formerly Commander-in-Chief of the Tibetan Army and high minister in favor of the XIII Dalai Lama stood. Since his political withdrawal he has been a merchant, bridge builder, importer of steel, head of coinage and, with regard to the feudal system, an outspoken proponent of modernization.

Tsarong is enterprising and open-minded. He wants to learn about the world outside of Tibet and has a keen interest in all things Western: He has cameras, theodolites, telescopes and magazines from New York and Europe in his house. And he also grants the two Austrians Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter lodgings in the guesthouses of his extensive property when they set foot in Lhasa in the spring of 1946 after fleeing Tibet for two years.

Forbidden City: Lhasa, 1948, with the Potala Palace under a light blue autumn sky. Photo: Heinrich Harrer

At first glance Heinrich Harrer is in love with Coocoola and will describe her as one of the most beautiful women in the world in his memoirs. In Seven Years in Tibet (1952) she also mentions: "She was of that indescribable charm of the Asian, which is characterized by the ancient culture of the Orient. At the same time she was quite modern, smart and educated, educated in the best schools in India. (...) You could talk to her like the most witty lady in a European salon, she was interested in culture and politics and everything that was going on in the world. She often talked about women's equal rights, but until then there was still a long way to go ...

Coocoola and her first two children Chimie and Jigme in the late forties. Photo: Heinrich Harrer

... Coocoola distinguished herself from the other Tibetan women not only by her charming face, but above all by her slender figure, which she did not cover in several layers of thick fabrics, but like the Europeans, tightly wrapped in colorful silk. We could see each other on invitations, but hardly speak, and there were always staff at the English lessons she gave me. She had been brought up to the west and to me like a bridge to Europe.

If I remember this affection today, I especially remember the Tibetan words for my feelings. To fall in love is to say 'Shem wa' and means to lose soul, to refer to a woman as his lady of the heart is called 'Nying dug', translated 'The heart meet'. Both were probably the case. "

Other writers and travelers from the United Kingdom, the United States and India also sing about their encounter with Coocoola. For example, Indian Envoy Nari Rustomji (author of Enchanted Frontiers ) or quarrelsome cult leader and scholar Sangharakshita who writes about Sikkim's eldest princess in Facing Mount Kangchenjunga: "It was like a magical tropical butterfly fluttering across my path. Coocoola has four characteristics rarely found in a single woman: beauty, charm, intelligence and joie de vivre. And she possesses all these qualities in a much higher degree than is occasionally found in different women ...

Coocoola in the late fifties. Photo: The Telegraph

More than that, these qualities find their way into all their little, seemingly insignificant gestures - be it a puzzled look under her long eyelashes, the serene way she blows cigarette smoke from her nostrils, or a few whispered words in her full, clear and musical voice. Not only that, she enhances the effect of her personality with sumptuous costumes, which she wears in the unshakeable self-understanding and knowledge of her royal blood. The effect is subtle, devastating."

In the autumn of 1950, the darkest premonitions of the thirteenth century come to pass in Tibet. Dalai Lama and the terrible prophecies of the oracles: The military-upgraded China invades Tibet. In the following decades, architecturally, but also mentally, hardly any stone should stay on top of another. The violent occupation, secretly tolerated by all global powers, puts an end to the old Tibet. The thousand-year-old, colorful culture of Tibet, marked by a peaceful inner vision of the spirit, is banned ...

No wonder that the people of that country are extremely afraid of disobeying the orders of the Government ... crucifying, ripping open the body, pressing and cutting out the eyes, are by no means the worst of these punishments.

-- The Myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, Travel Writing and the Western Creation of Sacred Landscape, by Peter Bishop

... and the feudal lordship of the monasteries brutally and with force of arms replaced by a grotesque distortion of socialism.

Of course, Tibet would have had to go the way to modernity and democracy on its own (a British road between Bengal and Lhasa would certainly have made a start), but the invasion by the so-called "People's Liberation Army" Mao Zedong is in no way a legitimate one answer to this omission.

On the contrary, it does not seem even today that even the Chinese military and power stars had even an idea of ​​what they would bring about horror, famine and blind destructive rage over an autochthonous, profoundly religious folk community. But of course Mao and his "terrible four" were not concerned with the happiness of his or any people, but with power, land and mineral resources.

Coocoola returns to Sikkim following the Chinese invasion of Lhasa, along with her husband Phöntsok, who will never overcome the loss of his homeland. It organizes spying and search teams to rescue scattered friends and relatives from the hands of Chinese military personnel in Tibet - including the Tyrolean agricultural scientist and Tibetologist Peter Aufschnaiter, who, however, is not found, because he, waiting for political development, on the West Tibets to Nepal settles.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:43 am

Part 2 of 2

It quickly becomes clear that Tibet can not expect international support. A UN General Assembly in New York opposes intervention. The US, in its global crusade against communism, is content to equip and train underground Tibetan freedom fighters. A dedicated group around Thubten Jigme Norbu, the eldest brother of the XIVth Dalai Lama, is offered concrete support from the CIA to shape the Tibetan resistance.

Coocoola begins to act as a messenger of secret messages between Delhi, Calcutta and Lhasa. Their CIA contact is Larry Dalley, whose mission is to gather news from the Chumbi Valley and Sikkim. A salary promised by Dalley rejects them indignantly. In addition, Coocoola is working on a way to smuggle Lee Enfield ammunition placed in pineapple and peach jars into the still fortified monasteries of Tibet.

The job of negotiating with the Indians went to the prince's son and heir apparent, Palden Thondup. Commonly known as the maharaja kumar, or crown prince, he was a relative newcomer to politics. Recognized at birth as the reincarnation of his late uncle, he appeared destined for a monastic life. But after the untimely death of his elder brother during World War II, he suddenly moved up the succession ladder and was thrust into government service.

Charming and well educated -- he had spent time at a British college -- the crown prince quickly assumed all governing responsibilities from his father. In 1947, he ventured to New Delhi to initiate talks with the Indian government. Through force of personality, he was able to win a three-year stay on any decision about Sikkim's integration into the republic. In early 1950, he again ventured to New Delhi. If anything, his audience had grown more fickle in the interim. The previous year, the Indian government had granted generous autonomy to the neighboring kingdom of Bhutan, and it was reluctant to make concessions to yet another Himalayan territory.

Undeterred, the crown prince, then only twenty-seven years old, persisted with a convincing legal pitch that the special privileges extended by the British set Sikkim apart from the other princely states. The result was a December treaty whereby the protectorate of Sikkim was free to manage domestic matters but allowed India to regulate its foreign affairs, defense, and trade.

The Sikkimese royals saw leeway in this pact. Though prohibited from making independent foreign policy, they believed that it was still within their right to retain a degree of international personality. This held obvious appeal for the United States, which appreciated Sikkim's unique perspective on Himalayan events, on account of its royals being related by blood and marriage to the elite in neighboring Bhutan and Tibet. But it also meant walking a fine diplomatic tightrope, as American contact with the Sikkimese ran the risk of agitating India. In the spring of 1951, the U.S. consulate in Calcutta gingerly tested the waters. The Chinese had already invaded Kham, and Larry Dalley, a young CIA officer who had arrived in the city the previous fall under cover of vice consul, was eager to collect good intelligence on events across the border. He knew that two members of Sikkim's royal family frequented Calcutta and would be good sources of information.

The first, Pema Tseudeun, was the older sister of the crown prince. Popularly known by the name Kukula, she was the stunning, urbane archetype of a Himalayan princess. Her contact with American officials actually dated back to 1942, when she had been in Lhasa as the teenage wife of a Tibetan nobleman. OSS officers Tolstoy and Dolan had just arrived in the Tibetan capital that December and were preparing to present a gift from President Franklin Roosevelt to the young Dalai Lama. The gift was in a plain box, and the two Americans were scrambling to find suitable wrapping. "I came forward," she recalls, "and donated the bright red ribbon in my hair." [7]

For the next eight years, Kukula had it good. Married into the powerful Phunkang family (her father-in-law was a cabinet official), she now had considerable holdings in Lhasa. After the Chinese invasion of Kham, however, all was in jeopardy. Leaving many of her possessions back in Tibet, she fled to the safety of Sikkim. There she became a close adviser to the crown prince, accompanying her brother to New Delhi that December to finalize their state's treaty with India.

The second royal in Calcutta, Pema Choki, was Kukula's younger sister. Better known as Princess Kula, she was every bit as beautiful and sophisticated as her sibling. Kula was also married to a Tibetan of high status; her father-in-Iaw, Yutok Dzaza, had been a ranking official at the trade mission in Kalimpong. Both Kukula and Kula were regulars on the Indian diplomatic circuit. "They came to many of the consulate's social functions," remembers Nicholas Thacher, "and were known for their ability to perform all of the latest dance numbers." [8]

Not all of that contact, CIA officer Dalley determined, was social. After arranging for a meeting with Princess Kukula at his apartment, he asked her if she thought the Tibetans might need anything during their current crisis. Kukula suggested that they could use ammunition and said that she would bring a sample of what they needed to their next meeting. True to her word, the princess appeared at Dalley's apartment bearing a round for a British Lee-Enfield rifle. She also mentioned that waves of Tibetan traders came to India almost quarterly to get treatment for venereal disease (a scourge in Tibet) and to pick up food shipments for import. Particularly popular at the time were tins of New Zealand fruits packed in heavy syrup.

Based on this information, Dalley devised a plan to substitute bullets for the fruit. He went as far as pouching Kukula's bullet and a sample tin label to CIA headquarters -- all to no avail. "They laughed at the scheme," he recalls. [9]

Later that spring, the U.S. consulate in Calcutta again turned to the Sikkimese royals for help. At the time, the Dalai Lama was holed up in the border town of Yatung, and CIA officer Robert Linn was brainstorming ways of facilitating indirect contact with the monarch. Two of those he asked to assist in passing notes were Kukula and Kula. Although the Tibetan leader ultimately elected not to go into exile, it was not for want of trying on the part of the princesses. [10]

One year later, Sikkim's royals once more proved their willingness to help. In June 1952, Kukula approached the consulate with an oral message from the Dalai Lama. She had just returned from a visit to her in-laws in Lhasa, and although she had not personally seen the Dalai Lama, she had been given information from Kula's father-in-Iaw, Yutok Dzaza, who had been in Lhasa at the same time, circulating among senior government circles. [11] Kukula quoted the Dalai Lama as saying that when the time was propitious for liberation, he hoped the United States would give material aid and moral support. Kukula also passed observations about food shortages in Lhasa and about the desperate conditions of the vast majority of Chinese troops in that city. [12]

To maintain the flow of such useful information, the consulate continued its discreet courtship of the Sikkimese sisters. Part of the task fell to Gary Soulen, the ranking Foreign Service officer in Calcutta. In September 1952, Soulen obtained Indian approval to visit Sikkim for a nature trek. Venturing as far as the Natu pass on the Tibetan frontier, Princess Kukula accompanied him on the trip and imparted more anecdotes about the situation in Lhasa. [13]

CIA officials, too, were looking to make inroads. Kenneth Millian, who replaced Larry Dalley in October 1952 under cover as vice consul, counted the Sikkimese as one of his primary targets. By that time, however, the Indians were doing everything in their power to obstruct contact. On one of the rare occasions when he got permission to visit the Sikkimese capital of Gangtok, for example, New Delhi leaked a false report to the press that the American vice president -- not vice consul -- was scheduled to make an appearance. As a result, entire villages turned out expecting to see Richard Nixon. "Discreet contact," lamented Millian, "became all but impossible." [14]

Occasional trysts with the Sikkimese were conducted by another CIA officer in Calcutta, John Turner. Born of American parents in India, Turner spent his formative years attending school in Darjeeling. He then went to college in the United States, followed by a stint in the army and induction into the agency in 1948. For his first overseas CIA assignment, he was chosen in May 1952 to succeed Robert Linn as the senior CIA officer in Calcutta. Given his cultural background and fluency in Hindi, Turner was well suited for the job. "I felt very much at home," he later commented.

The Sikkimese, Turner found, needed no prompting to maintain contact "They offered us tidbits of intelligence to try and influence U.S. policy," he concluded. "They were never on the payroll; they were not that sort of people." Some of the best tidbits came from the crown prince himself. "He was not the kind of person comfortable in dark alleys," quipped Turner. "He would make open, official visits to the consulate, and was the guest of honor with the consul general." [15]

As an aside to these visits, the prince would pass Turner relevant information about Tibet. One such meeting took place in the spring of 1954 immediately after the crown prince's return from a trip to Lhasa. While in the Tibetan capital, the prince had spoken with the Dalai lama, whom he found unhappy but resigned to his fate. Even more revealing, the Chinese had feted their Sikkimese guest by showing off their new Damshung airfield north of Lhasa and had motored him along a fresh stretch of road leading into Kham. Turner found the debriefing so informative that he recorded the entire session and sent a voluminous report back to Washington. [16]

-- The CIA's Secret War in Tibet, by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison

For some time, this secret activity, a work of the night, becomes an outlet for despair over the destruction of their Tibetan homeland. During the day, she takes care of the thousands of refugees from Tibet as chairwoman of the Relief and Rehabilitation Committee of Sikkim. The camp is being financed by the first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, an old friend of the royal family of Sikkim. For more than ten years, Coocoola has been visiting the camp near Gangtok on a regular basis to organize the bare essentials - food, medicines, blankets and tents - and to talk and listen to each and every one of their displaced, often sick compatriots.

Tibetan children in a camp for refugees; Gangtok, circa 1960. Photo: LIFE

But the political independence of Coocoola's first home, Sikkim, it is anything but good since the withdrawal of the British from India: After the Indian independence of 1947, the old kingdom Sikkim is again self-employed, but already in 1950 Chögyal Tashi of Forced India to sign a treaty again, otherwise Sikkim would be forcibly annexed. For defense and foreign policy should be responsible from now on India. The currency will continue to trade the Indian rupee. De jure Sikkim remains a sovereign state, de facto but an Indian protectorate and a buffer to the mighty China, which after the incorporation of Tibet now also after the former Tibetan crown country Sikkim switched - as an exotic-exquisite dessert.

In the 1950s, Coocoola spends most of her time in Gangtok and Calcutta (now Kolkata), the city of millions in West Bengal, whose huge, blue-green bay spills the two Himalayan rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra. Also in Calcutta, she learns gemstone design and founds a company for importing Iranian turquoise with Kula. The turquoise stone is one of the most important gemstones of the Tibetan women. Thus, it combines business sense with cultural struggle for survival: The Tibetan culture has been in great danger since the Chinese invaded.

Nehru presents Coocoola with a state pension, which she gratefully rejects. Instead, it asks for trading rights and gemstone import licenses, which it resells to watchmakers. Through the success of her business, she not only earns a lot of money, but also the respect of the State Bank of Sikkim, whose board she will join in later years. For wealth, she has a distance at arm's length: "Money did not make me - I made money. (Money did not make me - I made money) ".

In Calcutta, she soon has a particularly cool air-conditioned apartment with large brown armchairs, valuable chests of drawers, Thankas (wall hangings with motifs from the gods' heaven of Tibet) and family silver. Her aristocratic status is emphasized by golden crockery and cutlery, which is exclusively reserved for her at table. Their nobility is given by the gods. She embodies her with every fiber and does not even make anyone doubt it for a moment. Whenever Coocoola receives guests, as is often the case, they serve the finest wines in massive decanters and delicacies. Cool Jazz, Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Winifred Atwell, and Chuck Berry revolve around their precious wood Philco turntable.

She is popular among Indian businessmen, European travelers and American diplomats as a generous host of fun parties. At these parties Sikkim and his threatened independence is often an issue. It is now important to anchor the country and the culture of Sikkim in the international consciousness, and thus to preserve the monarchical position of the Namgyal family. Coocoola feels this vocation even more than her already indispensable older brother Thondup, the crown prince.

Coocoola's brother, Palden Thondup, Crown Prince of Sikkim (l.) And Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV. Dalai Lama after his escape from Tibet, Gangtok, April 1959. Photo: LIFE / Keystone

Concretely, in Gangtok, with the help of friendly and kindred clerics of the monasteries Pemayangtse and Rumtek, a place where the documentation and exploration of the Tibetan culture in Sikkim and its approximately 70 Buddhist monasteries is in good hands and should be made accessible to the public: The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. The foundation stone for the building was laid in February 1957 by the Dalai Lama, and the inauguration speech in October 1958 was held by India's Prime Minister Nehru.

The Namgyal Institute houses the writings of Mahayana Buddhism, an extensive (now partially digitized) photo archive and religious objects.

Coocoola manages to find some rare Tibetan manuscripts and copies as a contribution to the library, including the legend of King Gesar of Ling and the unabridged biography of Drukpa Künley (a holy fool, poet, and tantric yogi who helped around 1500) to spread Buddhism in Bhutan, blithely attributing to beer and women), in all its explicit frivolity, as noted in a jubilee publication of the institute: "After purchasing this book, the number of visitors to the library rose sharply."

But even on diplomatic paths Coocoola tries to preserve Sikkim's independence. She acts and urges corridors of power in the US Consulate of Calcutta and in Delhi. It would not be far-fetched to say that Princess Coocoola is something like the foreign minister and minister of culture of her small Himalayan country. In Delhi, she restores the Sikkim House and gives it a new lease of life.

In his analysis Beijing versus Delhi (1963), George Patterson remembers Coocoola as "an extremely attractive lady who likes to run politics in the style of 18th-century French marquises. Her considerable charm and her high-level friends are constantly coming up with new and unexpected strategies to further sharpen the already confused current situation in Sikkim. "

Nehru mentions in a military correspondence the strategically important position of the Chumbi valley beyond Nathu-La for an expansionist China, describing it as a dagger heading southwest, into the heart of India, and urgently needs to be defused. Nehru, who always has a protective hand over Sikkim's independence, dies in 1964. Although his daughter Indira Gandhi (India's Prime Minister from 1966) was also a frequent guest in Gangtok in her youth, the protective hand of the mother country encompasses the little kingdom of year to year firmer.

The Indian garrisons in the geopolitical hotspot Sikkim multiply in the course of the sixties, also because China's intervention in the East Pakistan conflict is to be expected, which ultimately does not happen. But in 1962, shots are fired on Nathu-La, and China begins a furious destruction of Tibet's indigenous culture, leading to new wave-of-escapes from Tibet to Sikkim and India. This is the grim era of the Cultural Revolution, which Fosco Maraini later describes as "the years of fire and shit."

At the same time, the Kingdom of Sikkim loses stability from within. First, by the mass influx of strong, willing workers from India and from neighboring Nepal, which has long been keeping an eye on Sikkim to settle it as part of a postulated Gorkhaland. The population of the Nepalese in Sikkim, with about 200,000 inhabitants, is growing in comparison to the other tribes of the Tibetan Denjongpka (Buthia) and Lepcha and reaches about 75% in 1966. Nepali is already the most widely spoken language in Sikkim. The individuality and identity of the country is therefore not only questionable from an outside perspective.

Sikkim's mountain world with Buddhist flagpoles (Lungta Dharchok). Photo: Desmond Doig

There is also a growing socialist and anti-monarchist movement that, starting from Kalimpong, infiltrates Sikkim. The thread-pullers behind are the Kazi (Minister) and his wife, the Kazini of Chakung. He, a patriotic provincial politician of the National Congress Party; she, a fox-fur-covered troubadour and a journalist of Scottish descent, said to have drunk in Burma with George Orwell Gin.

With a sharp pen and pronounced hatred for the house of Namgyal, the Kazini already sees herself as the first lady of an independent Sikkim, without the theocratic ramblings of a 16th-century Tibetan "slave-driver family".
In her column for the Himalayan Observer, she sneers at Thondup (and is said to have much more reason to scoff at him soon) and addresses Coocoola exclusively as Mrs. Phönkhang. A natural hostility is born.

The rumors spread by the Kazini and their intrigues about the Indian intelligence service are slowly eroding the support of the Buddhist royal house by the people of Sikkim, which increasingly consists of Hindus. Thondup has known since his youth that he has received bad fate cards, which does not stop him from trying to turn the tables with perseverance, willpower, gallows humor and moments of real confidence.

In December 1963, the painting monarch, Tashi Namgyal dies. Until last, the dying king remains calm and asks everyone in the room, including the doctors, for their well-being. It is Coocoola who remains with the Father until his last breath, making sure that all rituals are kept to ensure a well-protected onward journey of his soul.

In the same year, Thondup marries the young American oriental student and high-society debutante Hope Cooke, whom he met at the cheap Windamere Hotel in Darjeeling. She noticed him for her auburn hair, her extra-long eyelids and her Austrian dirndl dress. Thondup is sure to have found in her a worthy prince consort. It was not until 1965 that he ascended the throne of Sikkim - the astrologers advised him against it from an earlier date. From his first marriage to the Tibetan Samyo Kusho Sangideki, who died in 1957, Thondup brings two sons and a daughter into the compound. In 1965 Hope becomes the mother of a boy, followed three years later by a daughter. It is a marriage that encounters mixed reactions in the family environment.

While Hope starts a big friendship with Kula, she has a much harder time at Coocoola. Coocoola knows that the last thing Sikkim's need for the stumbling monarchy now is a dreamy, chronically whispering New York City twentieth. Of course she would never say that. And although her Hope as a person is not unpleasant, sometimes she cannot help but show her cruel side.

Right at the beginning of her entry into Gangtok, Hope Cooke passes a mishap. Since she is not as used to alcohol as her celebrating prince, she gives it all away in the lobby of the palace. When Hope apologizes profoundly the next day, Coocoola takes her by both hands and says in a silky voice, "Oh, do not worry, Hope-La. Behave yourself as if you were at home with you. "

Hope does not know if she should take the words seriously or evaluate them as passive aggression: "I had no idea what to answer. 'No, I never surrender in my own house, only in the houses of other people'? I was petrified and could not pull my hands away. "From then on Hope can only step closer to her sister-in-law, taking Valium.

Wedding in the Himalayas: Hope Cooke in white, from left to right: Kula, Coocoola, Thondup and sitting, Chögyal Tashi Namgyal. On the ground, sons Thondup, Wangchuk and Tenzing. Photo: National Geographic

In her cleverly and intelligibly written autobiography Time Change (1980), Hope Cooke writes about Coocoola: "She is often sweet to me, but I do not know if she is only to love her brother. I suspect she sees me as an eccentric beatnik, possibly even an adventurer. I am in awe of her for several reasons; First, she is so gorgeous and sophisticated that I often feel like a tramp next to her. Although she never says harm, she is sometimes full of anger - hard and sparkling like a diamond. (...) But she's definitely a fantastic woman. "

In March 1963, Thondup and Hope marry in an internationally sensational ceremony that is causing a furore in magazines (LIFE, National Geographic, Le Monde, etc.) around the world under the media-driven motto "American Himalayan Queen." At the wedding, Coocoola, dressed in beehive and gold lamé, is causing a sensation, and may have made her prostrations too dramatic before the new Queen Sikkims.

But it does not take long for the two so different women to join forces to jointly spread Sikkim's cultural identity into the world. Sikkim's participation in international craft fairs and exhibitions for traditional garments from around the world, as well as an interview Coocoola gives to BBC Radio during a London 1967 visit, raise the profile of their homeland in the race for political reassurance.

Princess Coocoola, 1967, in London.

With a US-American woman in the Gangtok Palace, the tiny country is gaining an exposure on the international stage, but the expansive politics of Indira Gandhi and the totalitarian communist rule of the Chinese in Tibet increase the pressure in the domestic pressure cooker Sikkim. The writing Kazini in Kalimpong has a fresh target for their poisonous tirades against the monarchical status of Sikkim with the "imported queen of Manhattan".

But even for personally Coocoola breaks with the end of the sixties a hard time. In 1969, her sister Kula succumbs to a tumor at just 43 years old. In 1973, Coocoola's husband dies and she becomes ill with a creeping circulatory disorder in her left arm, probably caused by smoking since early youth. After a quacking surgery, her left hand has to be amputated, which has far-reaching effects on the self-image of this beautiful, elegant woman.

Twist of Fate: Coocoola and John Kenneth Galbraith at a party around 1963. Galbraith was an advisor to President Kennedy and a diplomat of the highest order. Photo: Letizia Battaglia / National Geographic

In the early 1970s, political pressure in Sikkim has grown to such an extent that the Indian Intelligence work (bribery organized riots, roadblocks, and strikes) is just another step toward the Indian military. Coocoola, in Hong Kong just to get shopping for her second daughter's wedding, calls for a spontaneous press conference blaming Indira Gandhi and especially a BIS official, Tejpal Singh, for the riot in Gangtok.

For a long time, the diplomatically networked Coocoola has created enemies in the Indian news service. Kayatyani Shanker Bajpaj, the penultimate Dewan (an Indian political officer) of Sikkim calls her "The Dragon Lady." Finally, Coocoola's bungalow, which had been her and her family's refuge since fleeing Tibet, is being confiscated by the Indian authorities. Her trusted lieutenant and messenger, Thupten Geley, is intercepted in Gangtok, interrogated and thrown into a West Bengal jail without trial.

At the beginning of April 1975, Coocoola systematically searched her flat in Calcutta; all doors and drawers are equipped with mysterious, star-shaped wax seals. On her next visit to Delhi, she is interrogated by the IIB for two hours and placed under house arrest at Sikkim House for a week - while the Indian army overwhelms the sparse bodyguard of the Gangtok Palace. All eleven telephone connections to Sikkim House are - little wonder - cut off. Meanwhile, her brother Thondup is being arrested and besieged by Hope and the children in the palace.

On 16 April 1975, the Chögyal is disempowered by a referendum and Sikkim incorporated as the 22nd state in the Indian Union. Hope and her two children manage to leave Sikkim, apparently to make one of their many visits to New York - only this time she will not come back. Through Thondup's numerous affairs, the relationship of the two is in the end anyway. Alone, Thondup remains behind - a disempowered monarch and functioning alcoholic.

The royal palace of Gangtok.

He spends full-bearded and fat, spending several more months in the palace, where he spends his time mowing lawns and playing football before settling for Calcutta. As if the tragedy were not enough, his eldest son Tenzing dies in 1978 at the age of only 26 in a car accident. Thus, a chöla (firstborn son) of Namgyal is extinguished again. In 1982, Palden Thondup Namgyal, the twelfth and final king of Sikkim, dies in a New York hospital - a good man with a difficult fate.

The most accurate and entertaining review of Sikkim's last years as a kingdom: Andrew Duff ::: Sikkim - Requiem For A Himalayan Kingdom ; Birlinn Ltd., Edinburgh, 2015.

It seems the fulfillment of a prophecy or a curse, as Coocoola says in an interview about her family: "In Tibet, the vernacular calls such a curse 'Sih' . Its effectiveness is generated by black magic. After that, he must be cleverly hidden.

You can put the Sih on someone's shoe or on an object in his house. Once this is done, you must nourish the curse, hatch through complicated rituals and mantras - and when mature, bring them to full development. But such a sih is not just a burden on our family."

Coocoola retires after the annexation of Sikkim in a cottage near Gangtok. It could be speculated on whether she could have maintained Sikkim's independence as a regent - would the monarchical system have allowed a ruler. But it might have been eliminated by military forces if it had taken a more powerful position in this political game of power.

It continues to receive scholars, Himalayan researchers, diplomats and journalists, and remains attentive to events in the world until the age of 84. Swiss Tibetologist Dr. Anna Balikci-Denjongpa has the opportunity to win the friendship of the elderly Coocoola and to work with her at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. When the work on an ethnological book on Sikkim is completed, the princess does not miss the opportunity to open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

On December 2, 2008, Coocoola dies in Calcutta. On the morning of their dusk, four earthquakes are felt in the mountains of Sikkim, which is interpreted as a sign of the departure of a significant soul. At the cremation on Lukshyama Hill, the resting place of the Namgyal, they accompany members of all Gangtok ethnic and social groups to say goodbye to a consort of the gods and a brave Dharma warrior whose big wheel keeps turning.

Like the wheel of time, which will not settle until all kingdoms have fallen to the heart, all destinies will have been fulfilled, and the universe will dissolve into stardust, like a cosmic mandala. Until then, on clear winter days, the Kangchendzönga continues to tower in all its heavenly splendor over the dark green hills of Sikkim and disappears behind white clouds during monsoon.



Origin legend of the Tibetan people

Gods love to change to other forms, not just the classical legends of ancient Greece, the Native American tales, and the cosmic chaos household of Hinduism.

As in the Tibetan founding legend: Behind the two wild creatures of the monkey and the demon hide namely the bashful Chenrezig, Bodhisattva of compassion (in his Sanskrit form also called Avalokiteshvara) and his - even - better half Jetsün Dölma. Dölma is also known as Tara and is worshiped by Buddhists in all its 21 expressions, colors and powers.

Chenrezig, or Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

When not in the guise of a demon wrapped in raging wispy clouds and raving on mountain peaks, Dölma is a rather reserved, practical deity, merciful, full of love for her loved ones and proud of her femininity: As a mocking monk once advises her, the next To be born again as a man, for only in this way can one obtain the last enlightenment, does she swear from then on to reincarnate only as a female being.

When the Buddha of Compassion and the Goddess of Goodness meet on the Tibetan Plateau, both are already high spirits, yet unredeemed. A threefold rainbow is formed between their bodies and they look deeply into each other's eyes. And so that they do not need to be ashamed of each other in their exemplary purity as holy beings, one lets out the monkey and the other the demoness. We know the feeling.

Incarnation of feminine intuition: the green tara (thangka from the 13th century, Tibet).

Since it can still take until Nirvana, they not only agree to play heavenly love games and have six children with each other, but also to beget a whole people. However, although the monkey and the demon take care of their offspring, this one denies both monkey and demon food. Even that is not unknown to today's human parents.

Only when suddenly a field full of highland barley sprouts from the raw earth and the ears change into tsampa flour, the hunger of the children can be satisfied. From now on, the children of the monkey and the demon are true Tibetans.

Sources and literature:

Thomas Laird ::: The Story of Tibet
Melvyn Goldstein ::: A History of Modern Tibet
Tsering Yangdzon ::: The Aristocratic Families in Tibetan History 1900 - 1951
David L. Snell Grove, Hugh Richardson ::: A Cultural History of Tibet
Hugh Richardson ::: High Peaks, Pure Earth
Fosco Maraini ::: Secret Tibet
Heinrich Harrer ::: Seven Years in Tibet
Heinrich Harrer ::: The Old Lhasa - Pictures from Tibet
Heinrich Harrer ::: My Life
Martin Brauen (Hrsg.): :: Peter Aufschnaiter - His Life in Tibet
Jan Boon ::: Where the Wind Prays
Günter O. Dyhrenfurth ::: The book by the Kantsch
René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz ::: Oracles and Demons of Tibet
JR Subba ::: History, Culture & Customs of Sikkim
Anna Balikci-Denjongpa ::: Lamas, Shaman and Ancestors
Brajbir Saran ::: The Sikkim Saga
Nari Rustomji ::: Enchanted Frontiers
Nari Rustomji ::: Sikkim, a Himalayan Tragedy
Marco Pallis ::: Sikkim
Marco Pallis ::: Peaks and Lamas
Sangharakshita ::: Facing Mount Kanchenjunga
HH the XIV Dalai Lama ::: Freedom in Exile
Namgyal Lhamo Taklha ::: Born in Lhasa
Dasang Dandul Tsarong ::: In the Service of His Country
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray ::: Smash & Grave: Annexation of Sikkim
Andrew Duff ::: Sikkim - Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom
Hope Cooke ::: Time Change
VP Menon ::: Sikkim's Story of Integration
George N. Patterson ::: Beijing vs Delhi
Charles A. Bell ::: Manual of Colloquial Tibetan
Patrick French ::: Tibet, Tibet
Jaroslav Poncar, John Keay ::: Tibet - Gateway to Heaven

Magazines and magazines:

The Telegraph
Himalayan Observer
National Geographic India (March 1963)


Tibetan Who's Who
Treasury of Lives
The Royal Forum
The Diplomat
Literary Review
Bulletin of Tibetology
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:44 am

Esme Barbara Wilson [Wilkinson] [Cramer Roberts]
by The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe
Accessed: 9/7/19



With the great help and inspiration of Esme Cramer Roberts, the first edition of Born in Tibet was published in 1966.

-- Epilogue: Planting the Dharma in the West, from "Born in Tibet," "by" Chogyam Trungpa

Esme Barbara Wilson was born on 28 December 1887.1 She was the daughter of Sir Alexander Wilson and Isabella Adelaide Dunn.1 She married, firstly, Captain Osborn Cecil Wilkinson.1 She married, secondly, Francis William H. Cramer Roberts, son of Charles John Cramer Roberts and Frances Templer Dunn.1 She died on 5 March 1967 at age 79.1
Her married name became Wilkinson.1 Her married name became Cramer Roberts.1


Sir Alexander Wilson1
M, #392647, b. 2 May 1843, d. 6 September 1907
Last Edited=16 Jun 2010
Sir Alexander Wilson was born on 2 May 1843.1 He was the son of Reverend David Wilson and Mary Garioch Skinner.1 He married, firstly, Isabella Adelaide Dunn, daughter of Captain Richard Duckworth Dunn and Isabella Pallmer Massy-Dawson, on 23 April 1874 at Surbiton, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, EnglandG.1 He married, secondly, Louisa Benita Poore, daughter of Major Robert Poore and Juliana Benita Lowry-Corry, on 28 November 1896 at St. Luke's, Chelsea, London, EnglandG.2,1 He died on 6 September 1907 at age 64.2 He was buried at Rickling, Essex, EnglandG.1
He was President of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce.2 He was chairman of the Mercantile Bank of India.1 He was Captain Commandant of the Calcutta Light Horse.1 He held the office of High Sheriff of Calcutta in 1887.2 He was appointed Knight on 14 February 1887.1 He held the office of Member of the Legislative Council [India].1 He lived at The Views, Rickling, Essex, EnglandG.1

Children of Sir Alexander Wilson and Isabella Adelaide Dunn
Ada Mary Louisa Wilson1 b. 5 Oct 1876, d. 19 Oct 1943
Charles Skinner Wilson+1 b. 24 Sep 1878, d. 26 Feb 1959
Lina Beatrix Wilson1 b. 30 Aug 1881
Helen Benita Wilson1 b. 2 Nov 1886
Esme Barbara Wilson+1 b. 28 Dec 1887, d. 5 Mar 1967


[S4061] Re: Dunn Family, "re: Geoff Ayres," e-mail message to Geoff Ayres, 2 November 2009. Hereinafter cited as "re: Dunn Family."
[S37] BP2003 volume 3, page 3173. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]


Lt.-Col. Sir Peter Allix Wilkinson1
M, #225556
Last Edited=2 Nov 2009
Lt.-Col. Sir Peter Allix Wilkinson is the son of Captain Osborn Cecil Wilkinson and Esme Barbara Wilson.1,2 He married Mary Theresa Villiers, daughter of Algernon Hyde Villiers and Beatrix Elinor Paul, on 14 March 1945.1
He was appointed Officer, Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.)1 He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Fusiliers.1 He was appointed Companion, Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.)1 He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.)1 He was Deputy Under-Secretary and Chief Clerk of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1968.1

Foreign & Commonwealth Office: About us

The FCO promotes the United Kingdom's interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.


We are responsible for:

• safeguarding the UK’s national security by countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, and working to reduce conflict
• building the UK’s prosperity by increasing exports and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and promoting sustainable global growth
• supporting British nationals around the world through modern and efficient consular services


The Foreign Secretary and the FCO Board of Management have agreed our new Priority Outcomes for 2017 to 2018, which fall under our foreign policy priorities of protecting our people, projecting our global influence and promoting our prosperity.
Read our Single Departmental Plan to find out more about how we are performing against our objectives.

Who we are

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a worldwide network of embassies and consulates, employing over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices. We work with international organisations to promote UK interests and global security, including the EU, NATO, the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the Commonwealth.

Programme funds

We use a proportion of our core departmental budget to fund project activity to support the policy priorities detailed in our Single Departmental Plan. This funding includes both Official Development Assistance (ODA), and non-ODA funds, to ensure that we can spent it around the world to promote British interests, including through contributing to the economic development and welfare of developing countries. This small-scale policy programme funding enables us to complement traditional diplomatic activity, respond effectively to changing international situations, and maximise funding from international partners and the private sector. It is used for a wide range of activity designed to protect our people, project our influence and promote our prosperity.

The FCO also plays an important role in delivering programmes and projects funded by 2 major government-wide funds, which support the government’s National Security Strategy, and Aid Strategy:

• the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), established in 2015, supports work to reduce risk arising from conflict or instability in countries where the UK has important interests
• the Prosperity Fund, established in 2016, promotes the economic reform and development needed for growth in partner countries

We also support:

• outstanding scholars with leadership potential to take postgraduate courses in the UK on Chevening scholarships
• young Americans of high ability to study in the UK on Marshall scholarships
• victims of forced marriage with the Domestic Programme Fund
• natural resource management in the Overseas Territories with the Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund (Darwin Plus)
• prosperity and growth through the Science and Innovation Network
• some of the government’s work on international development, including through our activities on promoting sustainable global growth, human rights, climate change and conflict prevention. This is supported by Official Development Assistance funding.

-- Foreign & Commonwealth Office, by

Children of Lt.-Col. Sir Peter Allix Wilkinson and Mary Theresa Villiers
Virginia Caroline Wilkinson3 b. 3 May 1947
Alexandra Mary Wilkinson3 b. 21 Sep 1953
[S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 803. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
[S4061] Re: Dunn Family, "re: Geoff Ayres," e-mail message to Geoff Ayres, 2 November 2009. Hereinafter cited as "re: Dunn Family."
[S37] BP2003. [S37]


Captain Osborn Cecil Wilkinson1
M, #224656
Last Edited=2 Nov 2009
Captain Osborn Cecil Wilkinson married Esme Barbara Wilson, daughter of Sir Alexander Wilson and Isabella Adelaide Dunn.2
He gained the rank of Captain in the 15th Foot (East Yorkshire).1

Child of Captain Osborn Cecil Wilkinson and Esme Barbara Wilson
Lt.-Col. Sir Peter Allix Wilkinson+1


[S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 803. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
[S4061] Re: Dunn Family, "re: Geoff Ayres," e-mail message to Geoff Ayres, 2 November 2009. Hereinafter cited as "re: Dunn Family."
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:04 am

Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche [Venerable Ananda Bodhi/Leslie George Dawson]
Dharma Centre of Winnipeg
Accessed: 9/7/19



With the great help and inspiration of Esme Cramer Roberts, the first edition of Born in Tibet was published in 1966. Nevertheless, there was as yet no situation in which I could begin to make a full and proper presentation of the teachings of Buddhism. This now began to change. Ananda Bodhi, senior incumbent of the English Sangha Vihara and founder of a Buddhist contemplative centre in Scotland called Johnstone House, proposed turning the direction of the House over to myself and Akong. At once the fresh air and beautiful rolling hills of Dumfriesshire invigorated me and filled me with joyous expectation. After a series of further visits, Johnstone House was finally turned over to us and we moved in, giving it the name of Samye-Ling Meditation Centre.

-- Epilogue: Planting the Dharma in the West, from "Born in Tibet," "by" Chogyam Trungpa

Chapter Thirteen: Enter the Special Branch

One afternoon early in February I received a visit from the Special Branch. The visit was not unexpected, it being the result of a telephone call I had received that morning from Christmas Humphreys. The Branch wanted to talk to someone in the Buddhist movement about Ananda Bodhi, and he had suggested they should talk to me, as the person most likely to be able to help them with any enquiries. Would I be willing to see one of their people and tell him what I knew about Ananda Bodhi and his activities? As it seemed I did not really have much choice in the matter I agreed, and thus it was that Detective-Inspector Ginn came to be sitting in my room at the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara that February afternoon.

In the event I learned much more about Ananda Bodhi from him than he, so far as I could tell, learned about the Canadian monk from me. He was in fact extremely communicative, even chatty, possibly in order to encourage communicativeness on my part. Ananda Bodhi had recently been in Scotland, so my visitor informed me, and while there he had given a talk to a Buddhist group. (Whether or not this was the group that met at Johnstone House, the newly acquired mansion in Dumfriesshire, was unclear.) In the course of this talk he had spoken in such a way as to convince at least one member of the group, herself a Buddhist, that he was not a Buddhist monk at all but a Communist who, under the cloak of Buddhism, was engaged in propagating the gospel according to Marx and Lenin. Horrified, she had written to the Special Branch denouncing him and demanding an investigation. On their looking into the matter, Detective-Inspector Ginn continued, they had made the interesting discovery that Bhikkhu Ananda Bodhi was none other than their old friend Leslie Dawson, of whom they had lost track four or five years earlier when he suddenly disappeared. Now he was again under surveillance, it seemed, for Ginn added that according to reports they had received he did not behave like a Buddhist monk. What exactly this meant I thought it best not to enquire. Except for his disregard of monastic etiquette, I had witnessed no un-bhikkhu-like behaviour on his part, nor had I ever heard him talk in a way that suggested he might be at heart a Communist. But then, I had seen very little of him, and he had shown no sign of wanting to take me into his confidence even to a small extent. There was only one circumstance that could be regarded as being at all suspicious. This, as I explained to my visitor, was the fact that he and two of his staunchest supporters, a youngish married couple based in the West Country, had first met in Moscow, when the three of them were attending an international Communist students conference.

A few days later Mangalo told me that the previous evening while I was away at the Buddhist Society taking a meditation class, Ananda Bodhi had been to see him. In the course of the visit he had declared, in his usual dramatic fashion, that he was now trying to tear people away from Buddhism as it was too stultifying. How seriously were these words to be taken? Neither Mangalo nor I really knew, but if Ananda Bodhi had been indulging in that kind of talk in Scotland, and perhaps also giving expression to left-wing political views, it was not surprising that people should have started doubting his bona fides as a Buddhist monk or have even become convinced, in the case of at least one person, that he was not a Buddhist monk at all but a crypto-Communist.

Though I found it difficult to believe that the brash, controversial Canadian monk was truly a Buddhist (as distinct from being simply the purveyor of a mixture of insight meditation and psychotherapy), I found it no less difficult to believe that he was a paid-up member of the Communist Party who had become a Buddhist monk in order to propagate the gospel according to Marx and Lenin under the cloak of Buddhism. The fact that he had first met two of his staunchest supporters in Moscow, at an international students conference, did not really amount to much. Many young people went through a vaguely idealistic, left-wing phase, and Ananda Bodhi, in his days as Leslie Dawson, may well have been one of these. At the same time, I could not ignore the fact that this troubled world of ours, halfway through the sixties, was still in the grip of the Cold War, with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe ranged on one side of the great ideological divide and the United States and Western Europe on the other. Three years earlier the Cuban missile crisis had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, but although Khrushchev had drawn back at the last minute the Soviet Union had not yet awoken from its dream of a world dominated by totalitarian Communism. As I knew from my own experience in India, its strategy included such activities as subsidizing fellow-travellers, setting up front organizations, and infiltrating cultural bodies (not to mention government departments, trade unions, and the media), and it was not inconceivable that the British Buddhist movement, tiny as it was, had been thought worthy of the KGBs attentions. The Indian Buddhist movement had certainly been infiltrated, as had a section of the Theravãdin monastic order in Ceylon. I could not, therefore, altogether rule out the possibility that Ananda Bodhi was in fact a crypto-Communist, or, at the very least, more of a Communist than a Buddhist.

-- Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a new Buddhist Movement, by Sangharakshita [Dennis Lingwood]

In earlier pages it was demonstrated that in November 1939 U-33 undertook a circuitous route from Tory Island (known historical fact) to Carradale Bay where it landed men (historical fact uncovered). From there U-33 travelled northeast to the Cloch-Dunoon defence boom and passed briefly and audaciously into the heavily populated Clyde Anchorage in the light of a three-quarter moon.

Twelve weeks later between the 8th and 10th of February, U-37 landed Abwehr spy Ernst Weber-Drohl and an unknown accomplice at Killala Bay in Donegal. On the 10th U-33 was in Scottish waters approaching the Mull of Kintyre. Recalling the covert aspects of U-33's activities identified in this present work and the relative proximity of the two submarines, the likelihood that the operational objectives of U-37 and U-33 shared common purpose must be seriously addressed.

Buddhist monks first established a retreat in Scotland in late 1961. The Venerable Kyabje Namgyal Rinpoche Anandabodhi (Canadian Leslie George Dawson 1931-2003) founded at Eskdalemuir in Dumfriesshire the Johnstone House Contemplative Community of the Theravadin branch of Buddhism (literally, the "Ancient Teaching," the oldest surviving Buddhist school).

Interestingly, before embracing Buddhism Dawson, a friend of Anna Freud, Julian Huxley and R.D. Laing, envisaged a life in socialist politics. Disillusioned after addressing an international youth conference in Moscow, Dawson moved from the USA to London in 1956 and embraced the esoteric teachings of Rosicrucianism and, later, the works of renowned Russian mystic and founder of Theosophy Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

It was not long before Anandabodhi's Theravada community dwindled. In 1965 he transferred ownership of the Eskdalemuir site to two Tibetan refugees (Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) who renamed it Samye Ling. Anandabodhi returned to Canada where with the help of his senior students he established the Centennial Lodge of the Theosophical Society.

Today Samye Ling is a monastery and international centre of Buddhist training, renowned for the authenticity of its teachings and tradition. It offers instruction in Buddhist philosophy and meditation within the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

It is evident that the excellent reputation of Samye Ling went before it because in 1990 the then owners of Holy Island [The Holy Island or Holy Isle is an island in the Firth of Clyde, off the west coast of central Scotland, inside Lamlash Bay on the larger Isle of Arran. The island is around 3 kilometres (1 7⁄8 mi) long and around 1 kilometre (5⁄8 mi) wide. Its highest point is the hill Mullach Mòr.], James and Catherine Morris, offered it to Lama Yeshe because they believed its future would be best taken care of by "the Buddhists from Samye Ling." The 1 million pound asking price was eventually dropped to 350,000 pounds, which Lama Yeshe managed to raise by April 1992. The Holy Island project was then established, broadening Tibetan Buddhism's community of faith in Scotland. Interestingly, the ownership of Arran resided with the ducal Hamilton family for about five hundred years up into the twentieth century.

In past times Arran was called Emain Ablach, which translates literally as "the place of apples." Another translation of Arran is "the sleeping lord." Many readers will recognise in these two descriptions unmistakeable references to the legend of Arthur who today resides in timeless slumber upon the Enchanted Isle of Avalon (Isle of Apples), awaiting re-awakenment in Britain's darkest house.

Medieval language scholar and Grailseeker Otto Rahn, visitor to Scotland (Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh) both in 1936 and, it is speculated, in late 1939-early 1940 in U-33 (months after Rahn's reported suicide), wrote extensively about Arthurian imagery, drawing on Rosicrucian and other skeins of philosophical symbolism in support of his brilliant insights into European history and its metaphysical traditions. (Rahn also used to practise Tibetan exercises in telepathy in Berlin's busy streets with his friend Gabriele Dechend. Standartenvuhrer-SS Dr. Ernest Schafer, leader of SS expeditions to Tibet made on behalf of Reichsfuhrer-[PAGE MISSING]

encompasses an area associated with pagan worship.

Johnstone is the home of Saint John's Parish Church. Saint John is an important saint for both Freemasons and the Knights Templar. Johnstone lies on almost exactly the same latitude of Roslin, home of Rosslyn Chapel. Roslin lies at 55 51.15 and Johnstone, significantly, is located at the sacred number 55 50. The line between these two latitudes was known as the "serpent rouge" or Roseline, an ancient meridian once used for telling the time.

Paisley Abbey also lies on this sacred latitude and Hugo de Pavinan appears as a witness in the abbey's foundation charter. Notably, Tibetan Tantric Buddhists today declare that Rosslyn Chapel, a Christian edifice known as the Grail in Stone and an important node in a powerful pan-global earth energy grid system, is a centre for world peace.

In Hellboy the choice of location in Scotland for the Nazis' occult activities is determined largely by the confluence of a network of powerful ley lines. Hellboy is the creation of writer-artist Mike Mignola. The comics started appearing in 1993 and it was not until 2004 that Director Guillermo del Toro's first highly successful film adaption appeared.

The story begins in the final months of World War II. A party of fanatical Nazis come to the ruins of fictional ‘Trondhem Abbey’ on the equally fictional Tarmagant Island.

The U-boat that surely brought the part of Nazi occultists to the island is neither seen nor referred to but, then again, neither did the official eyeglass of history observe U-33 landing men at the Isle of Islay and at Carradale.

The Nazi personnel have come to Trondhem Abbey to conduct a black magic ceremony to wake the Gods of Chaos and win the war. A U.S. army contingent raids the proceedings but not before a demon, subsequently nicknamed Hellboy by paranormal expert Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm (Dr. Broom), comes into this world through an open portal to Hell.

Dr. Broom recognizes amongst the sorcerers the fearsome figure of arch-Nazi, Karl Rupert Kronen, SS officer, fictional head of the Thule occult society and Hitler’s number one assassin. Kronen is directing operations. The date in 9 October 1944, time 01:00 hours.

It is evident that those who developed the film’s storyline had a detailed knowledge of astrological symbology because at this precise hour and date there had just been a partial eclipse of the moon. The Sun, Mercury and Mars were all in the sign of Libra, an auspicious time for rituals, particularly those involving time manipulation. The moon is in its exalted position in Cancer, corresponding to the 16th degree. The imagery in the astrological Sabian Symbols3 for the sixteenth degree is a man studying a mandala with the help of a very ancient book, which is precisely the sight that greets the army team when they burst into the Abbey grounds.

There before them is the terrifying figure of Grigori Rasputin, dead since 1916 but impossibly alive, clutching the Des Vermis Mysteriis, a Black Magic Grimoire. He is uttering powerful incantations, which are keeping open a gateway to Hell for access to the sleeping Seven Gods of Chaos (strong echoes of Dagger Magic in this imagery). The portal is represented as a mandala-like swirling pattern of electrical energy.

A pitched battle ensues in which Rasputin is propelled headlong into the portal and the Nazis are overcome. Kronen makes his escape (to make his next appearance in Hellboy III).

While making his way to the Abbey Dr. Broom had told the American soldiers that the location was an intersection of a number of ley lines. It is evident that this explicit mention of the island’s powerful geomantic properties is designed to indicate to film viewers that Rasputin’s magical ceremony is at least being partly assisted by the violent flux of earth energies active in and around the Abbey ruins.

-- The Mystery of U-33: Hitler's Secret Envoy, by Nigel Graddon


Karma Tensing Dorje Namgyal Rinpoche was born Leslie George Dawson in Toronto, Canada, on October 11, 1931 to middle-class parents [Irish-Scottish descent]. His mother was a nurse and his father was a policeman and Freemason. He attended Norway Public School and Malvern Collegiate, where he studied music appreciation with Glenn Gould as a classmate and worked summers at the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories. After graduating from high school he spent a few months at Jarvis Baptist Seminary and then went on to major in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbour.

For a time he became involved as a left-wing political activist, ultimately travelling to Russia where he addressed an international youth conference in Moscow. His experiences there resulted in a fundamental disillusionment with politics, and in 1956 he moved to England, where straightened circumstances shortly resulted in his contracting tuberculosis. In London he became interested in Theosophy and afterward in Theravada Buddhist practice. Eventually he decided to ‘go forth’ into the life of a homeless monastic.

At the Buddhist Vihara in London in April, 1958, he met the Burmese Sayadaw U Thila Wunta and requested ordination. The Venerable Sayadaw suggested that they meet at Bodhgaya in India, where, on October 28, Leslie Dawson was ordained as a novice monk, taking the name Ananda. From there they returned to Burma where he received full ordination as Bhikkhu Ananda Bodhi at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Rangoon on December 21, 1958. He began an extended period of intensive meditation practice, during which he studied for periods in Sri Lanka and at Wat Paknam and Wat Mahadat (with Chao Khun Phra Rajasiddhimuni) in Thailand, as well as with Sayadaw U Thila Wunta and Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw in Rangoon. He was ultimately given the title Samatha-Vipassana-Kammatthana-Acariya (master of both tranquility and insight meditation) in recognition of his attainments.

Venerable Ananda Bodhi returned to England in the Fall of 1961, at the invitation of the English Sangha Trust, becoming the Resident Teacher of the Camden Town Vihara. He was a special guest speaker at the Fifth International Congress of Psychotherapists in London, where he met Julian Huxley, Anna Freud and R.D.Laing, among others. For the next three years he taught extensively throughout the UK, founding the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in London and the Johnstone House Contemplative Community—a retreat centre in southern Scotland. During this period he also joined a Masonic lodge. In 1965, when he decided to move to Toronto with two of his British students, Johnstone House was entrusted to Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Akong Tulku, becoming Kagyu Samye Ling—the first Vajrayana centre to be established in the West.

Chogyam Trungpa in Scottish kilt

"It struck me forcibly before I left Zanskar that there must be some unknown relationship between the people of that province and the Scottish Highlanders. The sound of their varieties of language, the brooches which fasten their plaids, the varieties of tartan, even the features of the people, strongly reminded me of the Scotch Highlanders."

-- The Myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, Travel Writing and the Western Creation of Sacred Landscape, by Peter Bishop

The following year Ananda Bodhi and his students founded the Dharma Centre of Canada and purchased a 400-acre forest property near Kinmount, Ontario for a retreat centre. In 1967 he founded the Centennial Lodge of the Theosophical Society. After a couple of years spent teaching mostly in Toronto and at the Dharma Centre, ‘The Bhikkhu’ (as he had become known) initiated an extended period of nearly continuous travel, taking students all over the world. It was on one of these trips, in Sikkim in 1968, that he met and was subsequently recognized by His Holiness the XVIth Gyalwa Karmapa (head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism) as an incarnation of the Namgyal Tulku—the first Westerner to be so acknowledged. His formal enthronement as Karma Tensing Dorje Namgyal Rinpoche was performed by Venerable Karma Thinley Rinpoche in the spring of 1972.

Over the next few years Rinpoche received teachings and empowerments from many accomplished lamas—including HH Sakya Trizin, HH Dudjom Rinpoche, HE Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, and Venerable Ling Rinpoche, as well as HH the XVIth Karmapa—and he was instrumental in arranging the latter’s first North American visit in 1974.

He continued to teach and travel widely throughout the world, and for a number of years in the 70s and 80s he took numerous small groups of students on months-long voyages on passenger freighters. Later, he introduced many to the joys of dive charters, polar expeditions and excursions up the Amazon, as well as to gourmet cooking, Teilhard de Chardin and Krishnamurti, Mahler’s music and Rilke’s poetry, the painting of Mondrian…and so much more.

Some addressed what we call “Transformational and Contemplative Ecology,” growing and convening our network of climate, sustainability, spiritual and community leaders to re-conceive our relationship with the natural world and help make environmental advocacy more effective. For example, in 2016 Joanna Macy led a retreat on “Rainer Maria Rilke and the Force of the Storm.” Macy’s “Work that Reconnects” trainings have empowered environmental activists and scientists worldwide, drawing on Buddhist teachings, systems theory and the deep ecological visions of poets like Rilke, whom Macy and Anita Barrows translated, and who foresaw the disruptions of our time over a century ago. You can watch Macy introducing the retreat here.

-- Garrison Institute Biannual Report, by Marc Weiss / Executive Director

In his journeys Rinpoche frequently visited the many centres established by his students in Canada, the United States, Guatemala, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. His love of travel and more than forty years of teaching inevitably took a toll on his physical condition, and some long-standing health problems finally caught up with him on October 22, 2003 when he passed away at a small private cottage on the Bodensee Lake in Switzerland.

Namgyal Rinpoche devoted his entire life to the welfare of beings, and his dedication to their liberation, his unbounded interest in this planet and all its flora and fauna, was as tireless as it was vast. A master of Mahamudra, he was unique in his ability to encompass and bridge traditional Buddhist forms and western practices, transmitting the path of awakening in universal terms according to beings’ interests and proclivities. His fearless and compassionate example continues to inspire and transform his many students, and their students, all over the world. In the words of Tarchin Hearn, “Rinpoché was many things to many beings. He was an upholder of tradition and, simultaneously, an innovator and integrator of new unfolding pathways…It has been wondrous to have lived so many years knowing him, an extraordinary manifestation of Emptiness and vast compassionate activity. May the wholesomeness of the teachings that he has given freely to so many beings continue to grow and flourish for the sake of all those yet to come. Sarva Mangalam”
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:20 am

Sayadaw U Thila Wunta
by Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa
Accessed: 9/7/19



Sayadaw U Thila Wunta with student, U Khema Sera

U Thila Wunta, the teacher of Namgyal Rinpoche, came from the Mon State of Burma. He was born 28 June 1912. He began his training at a monastery school in 1919. At the age of 15 he took the vows of a monk. In May 1932 he received full ordination as a Bhikshu in the Theravada Order under the direction of Kyaw Sayadaw.1 He spent his first three month retreat at Htan-bin Monastery near Wekalaung Village.

Between the years 1933 and 1938 he practiced meditation under the supervision of Sayadaw U Narada of Payagyi Monastery, Sayadaw U Ariya of Ahlei Taik Monastery, and Sayadaw U Pyin Nyein Da of Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery. These three Sayadaws were all renowned scholars and meditators.

U Thila Wunta settled for some time near the great Shve Dagon Pagoda, in Rangoon. It is generally believed by Buddhists that certain holy sites or "power spots" are especially conducive for progress in meditation. Experience has shown that meditation is not only easier, but that insight dawns much faster, when practice is carried out at such places. Further, because many beings over the centuries have themselves realized Enlightenment at these special holy sites, it is felt that a residue vibration of their presences remains there. The Shve Dagon Pagoda at Rangoon is one of the world's most special power places.

In 1941 the war forced U Thila Wunta to leave Rangoon for his native Mon State, where he remained until the end of hostilities. In early 1946 he returned to Rangoon, where he took up residence in a grass hut again not far from the great Shve Dagon Pagoda. In May of 1947 he was given another small meditation hut by some devout lay-people living in Kapili Kwathi on the west side of the Shve Dagon. There he spent the rainy reason practicing meditation with eight fellow monks.

At the end of 1947 he set out for Mandalay so as to pursue further meditation practice at Mahatmya-muni Pagoda, which is a famous holy site in Mandalay.

Sayadaw U Thila Wunta

While struggling with his meditation at Mahatma-muni Pagoda, U Thila Wunta met a disciple of Bodaw Aung Min Gaung. The latter had a reputation as a fully realized Burmese saint.

Bodaw Aung Min Gaung was a great meditator in the Weizzer forest-tradition of Burma. In Burma "weizzers" are known as persons having wisdom, masters of Wisdom (Skt: vidya), or the "Wise Ones". 2

Bodaw Aung Min Gaung was a master who not only knew how to teach meditation but one who had himself acquired full realization. He was a truly liberated being. Inspired by what he heard about Bodaw Aung Min Gaung, U Thila Wunta traveled to Popa to meet the master in person. This meeting brought about a radical change in his understanding. To fully focus on his practice, he went into solitary retreat in the forest, wandering from village to village for food but otherwise living entirely alone.

Upon U Thila Wunta's eventual return to Rangoon, a pious layman named U Pho Nweh donated five acres of land in the hope that U Thila Wunta would restore an ancient, broken stupa (pagoda) on the property. Initially U Thila Wunta thought that this would distract him from his meditation practice, but his guru Bodaw Aung Ming Gaung advised him to go ahead and accept the gift.

U Pho Nweh, his brothers, sisters, and entire extended family, supported the restoration of the old pagoda, both with money and with labour. The work began on 13 January 1949. That was the start of a project that has continued throughout U Thila Wunta's entire life up to the present. Today, surrounding the reconstructed central pagoda, there are now some 174 smaller pagodas. Buildings for monks and lay meditators have also sprung up throughout the grounds. The original five acres has been transformed over the years into a thriving monastic complex, known as Dat Pon Zon Aung Min Gaung Monastery, firmly centered in the Weizzer meditation tradition.

In 1952 U Tilla Wunta went on pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya and other holy sites of Buddhism. In Sri Lanka he visited the great monastery of Anuradhapura. At Mihintali he meditated on the same ground where Mahendra (Mahinda), the princely son of Emperor Asoka, attained enlightenment. He went to Rajgriha, the 'Vulture's Peak, where legend says that Buddha Sakyamuni taught the Prajnaparamita-sutra, the practice of Transcendental Wisdom. From Rajgriha he went to Sarnath, the site where the Buddha spoke his very first teaching on the four Truths and the eightfold Spiritual Path. After that pilgrimage, U Thila Wunta returned to Rangoon and spent the next five years in meditation at the base of a tree on the grounds of Dat Pon Zon Monastery.

Sayadaw U Thila Wunta

After U Thila Wunta attained awakening, he began a number of extensive trips around the world. Starting in 1955 the venerable Sayadaw visited Thailand, Nepal, and India. In India he went to Lumbini, Sarnath, Jammu, Sravasti, Kusinara, Darjeeling, and again Bodh Gaya, the holiest site of all. At Bodh Gaya he performed an intensive 49 day meditation retreat. He then returned via Thailand to his native land. In the meantime his little monastery had grown to accommodate twenty monks.

The Sayadaw U Thila Wunta has dedicated his life to teaching the profound method of meditation that he learned under the compassionate guidance of Bodaw Aung Min Gaung. He has trained an exemplary group of men in the discipline of a Buddhist monk, and he has encouraged many Buddhist lay men and women to take up the practice of meditation. His fame in Burma, where he is looked upon as a living Arhat, an enlightened Master, is very great indeed. Many miracles are attributed to him. The impersonal goodness, compassion and wisdom that seem to radiate from his presence are tangible. Everyone who has had the blessed fortune to meet U Thila Wunta has felt that they were in the exceptional presence of an extraordinary human saint.

Namgyal Rinpoche's teacher U Thila Wunta was an austere, old man of great presence and power. The depth of his wisdom was written all over his aged face, and the intensity of his love was like a tangible force.


1 The title Sayadaw (Skt: Upadhyaya, Tib: Khenpo) means "preceptor" or "abbot". When one goes for ordination in the Buddhist tradition, of the five or more monks necessary for an ordination service, the two of most importance for the applicant is one's Preceptor, or Upadhyaya, and one's Teacher (Acharn or Acarya).

2 It is thanks to Mr. L. Olmstead, a long time student of U Tilla Wunta, that we have been able to correct some of the earlier statements that we made in the biographical sketch of this great man. Mr. Olmstead kindly pointed out, "You mentioned Sayadaw's teacher, Bodaw Aung Min Guang (aka Bo Minguang) being a practitioner of the forest tradition of Phra Acharn Mun. This is incorrect." The term "weizzer" derives from the Pali word "vijja" meaning wisdom or awareness, according to L. Olmstead. It was the weizzer tradition that Bodaw Aung Min Guang passed on to the venerable Sayadaw U Thilawunta. We are pleased to now correct an error in our original text.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:40 am

The English Sangha Trust: History
Accessed: 9/7/19



[T]he English Sangha Trust, a Buddhist organization founded by Christmas Humphreys...

-- Friends of the Western Buddhist Order: Friends, Foes, and Files, by Henry Shukman, Tricycle, Summer 1999

Luang Pu Sodh was one of the first Thai preceptors to ordain people outside Thailand as Buddhist monks. He ordained the Englishman William Purfurst (a.k.a. Richard Randall) as "Kapilavaddho" at Wat Paknam in 1954. Kapilavaddho returned to Britain to found and help lead the English Sangha Trust and English Sangha Association.

27th May 1951

“Those present at the inaugural meeting were Venerable U Thittila, Mr W. Purfurst, Mr and Mrs C.J. Bartlett, Mr F. Murie, Mr J. Garry, Mr S.H. Vincent, Mr H. Jones, Miss C. [Connie] E. Waterton, Miss D. Westwell, Miss K. Knibbs.”

“This hard-working group of people under the able Secretary Miss Connie Waterton never did much shouting about their accomplishments. They showed their great worth by what their efforts produced. It was this same group, with a few friends in London, who fostered and helped the work of Venerable Kapilavaddho.

They helped create the English Sangha Trust Ltd. and also founded the English Sangha Association from their membership. Additionally, they organised the first week long course in Vipassana in England. They continued to hold these courses while the demand was there. In addition, this group created the Dāna Fund, which was used to support members in distress, maintenance of bhikkhus, and lecturer expenses. The fund was eventually handed over to the London Buddhist Society.”

-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

Former director of the trust Terry Shine described Kapilavaddho as the "man who started and developed the founding of the first English Theravada Sangha in the Western world". He was the first Englishman to be ordained in Thailand, but disrobed in 1957, shortly after his mentor Phra Ṭhitavedo [Ṭhitavedo is variously spelt Thiṭavedho, Ṭhittavedho, Thiṭavaḍḍho, Thiṭavedo and Thitavedo in sources.] had a disagreement with Luang Pu Sodh and left Wat Paknam. [Accusation of financial irregularities in relation to temple funds; the formal meeting from which Kapilavaddho walked away was a disciplinary meeting in relation to Ṭhitavedo.]. He was ordained again in England under Chao Khun Sobhana, and became the director of the English Sangha Trust in 1967.

-- Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro [Luang Por Sodh] [Luang Pu Wat Paknam] [Phramongkolthepmuni] [Phra Mongkolthepmuni], by Wikipedia

16 Nov 55 Inaugural meeting of the EST [English Sangha Trust] (M-EST)

Dec 1955 On the 30th Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho returned to Thailand with Samaṇeras Vijjavaḍḍho, Saddhāvaḍḍho and Paññāvaḍḍho (MW 55/56) (14th Dec according to Ajahn Paññāvaḍḍho)

1956 M. Walshe was Vice president of The Buddhist Society (MW 55/56)

27 Jan 56 “Samaṇeras Vijjāvaḍḍho, Saddhāvaḍḍho and Paññāvaḍḍho (George Blake, Robert Albison and Peter Morgan) were ordained at Wat Paknam. Upajjhāya was Venerable Chao Khun Bhavanakasol (later Mangala-Rayamuni). The Kammavācāya was the Venerable Chao Khun Dhammavorodon (later to become Somdet — the Vice-Patriarch of Thailand). The Anusavanacaya was Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho.” (R&B). “After some time the four English bhikkhus relocated to Wat That Tong, Sukumvit Road, Bangkok” (AP)

21 Mar 56 Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho returned to England. EST [English Sangha Trust] rented Flat 9, 10 Orme Court, Bayswater, (M-EST First annual report by Directors. 30 April 57)

April 1956 Venerable Saddhavaḍḍho returned to England and shortly afterwards disrobed and returned to Rochdale. Meanwhile the Venerables Pannavaḍḍho and Vijjavaḍḍho went to Wat Vivekaram, Bang Pra village, Chonburi province to practice meditation (AP)

1 May 56 EST [English Sangha Trust] was incorporated with the following directors: Cyril John Bartlett (Chairman), Reginald Charles Howes (Secretary), Albert Ernest Allen (Treasurer), Hans Gunther Mynssen, Frederick Henry Bradbury, Ronald Joseph Browning. Mr Marcus acted as Solicitor for the Trust. Mr C. Bartlett served on both the MBS and EST [English Sangha Trust] (MW 55/56 p92) (M-EST)

June 56 Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho on hearing that Venerable Vijjavaḍḍho was ill, returned to Thailand (AP)

16 July 56 The Venerables Kapilavaḍḍho, Paññavaḍḍho and Vijjavaḍḍho return to England (AP)

Aug 1956 Venerable Vijjavaḍḍho disrobed, he married and is at present living in Canada (AP)

Aug 1956 Two German brothers and Miss Lisa Schroeder requested to come to England to become samaṇeras and upasika (M-EST)

Aug 1956 “The English Sangha Association is a new formation. It was founded at Oxford on 11/18 August 1956 by a group of sixteen people who had just completed a strenuous and continuous course in the practice of samadhi (concentration) and vipassana (insight) lasting a week under instruction of the Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho.” (MW Nov 56) (M-EST First annual report by Dir. 30 April 57)

Sept 1956 Venerable Paññavaḍḍho went to stay in Manchester (AP)

Sept 1956 On the 14th Mr Walshe became a director of the EST [English Sangha Trust], Mr Browning, a founding director of the EST [English Sangha Trust] resigned (M-EST)

10 Oct 56 Buddhist Society moves to 58 Eccleston Sq (MW-55/56) (CH p59)

Oct 1956 EST [English Sangha Trust] leased 50 Alexandra Rd, London N.W.8. (M-EST First annual report by Dir. 30 April 57)

Dec 1956 First Sangha Magazine produced (S Dec 56)

1957 Dr (philosophy) Lisa Schroeder became Upāsikā Cintavāsī (5th Feb) (A)

She arrived approximately Jan 57 (M-EST Feb 57)

Feb 1957 Venerable Paññāvaḍḍho in charge of the Buddhist Society, Manchester (MW 55/56). Venerable Paññāvaddho in Manchester (S Feb 57 p3)

Mar 1957 Venerable Paññāvaḍḍho returned to London (AP)

Mar 1957 Mr Walshe vice president and Meetings Secretary of Buddhist Society (MW 55/56)

24 Mar 57 Two German brothers, Walter and Gunther Kulbarz ordained becoming Samaṇeras Saññavaḍḍho and Sativaḍḍho

Mr Wooster requested to be a samaṇera (M-EST Mar 57)

1957 Arthur Wooster becomes Sāmaṇera Ñāṇavaḍḍho (4th May) (S May 57)

In late May or early June Venerable Paññavaḍḍho officiated at Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho’s disrobing (due to ill health). Venerable Paññavaḍḍho took over leadership of EST [English Sangha Trust] helped by the three Samaṇeras, Saññavaḍḍho, Sativaḍḍho and Naṇavaḍḍho and Upasika Cintavasi. (M-EST June 57)

June 1957 Mr Marcus became Director of EST [English Sangha Trust] (M-EST)

July 1957 Mr Bradbury, a founding director of the EST [English Sangha Trust] resigned (M-EST)

1958 Russell Williams (now 81) joined MBS (MBS)

Jan 1958 Mr Mynssen a founding director of the EST [English Sangha Trust] resigned (M-EST)

April 1958 The lease on 50 Alexandra Road was renewed (M-EST)

2 July 58 The German twin brothers Samaṇeras Saññāvaḍḍho and Sativaḍḍho were the first ever ordained on British soil in a historic ceremony at the Thai Embassy. They became Bhikkhus Dhammiko and Vimalo (MW 62/63). Apparently this ordination was not accepted in Thailand and the two bhikkhus re-ordained in Burma. Subsequently Bhikkhu Dhammiko left the Sangha for a university post (AP). “Bhikkhu Vimalo continued in the robe for many years. In approximately 1970 he wrote a Dhamma article called Awakening to the Truth recently brought to light by DFP students. See page 54 above for extract and EST [English Sangha Trust] libraries for a full copy (ED)

Jan 1959 Mr Allanm a founding director of the EST [English Sangha Trust], resigned (M-EST)

July 1959 Three bhikkhus, one sāmaṇera, and one upāsikā supported by trust (M-EST)

Sept 1959 £24,000 donated to the EST [English Sangha Trust] from Mr H. J. Newlin (M-EST)

June 60 Ānanda Bodhi (Leslie Dawson) offered to come to UK to teach (M-EST)

Eve Engle (Sister Visākhā) who gave valued assistance in the formation of the EST [English Sangha Trust] died, unfortunately drowned off the coast of Ceylon. She left a legacy of £15,000 to the EST [English Sangha Trust] (S 15 July 1960 Directors report).

Oct 1960 Connie Waterton asked the EST [English Sangha Trust] to lend her £375 to purchase the house she rented and used for the MBS meetings — agreed (MEST)

1961 Sāmaṇera Sujīvo, formerly Laurence Mills, became Bhikkhu Khantipālo in Bangalore, India (see Thai Buddhism) (S Sept 61)

12 Mar 61 John Richards became Sāmaṇera Mangalo (MW 61/62)

9 Nov 1961 Ānanda Bodhi arrives in UK from Burma (S Nov 61)

21 Nov 61 Venerable Paññāvaḍḍho to Thailand (MW 61/62) (S Nov 61)

4 Dec 1961 Bhikkhus Vimalo, Dhammiko and Sāmaṇera Maṅgalo to Burma (S Dec 61)

Dec 1961 EST [English Sangha Trust] directors reported the English Sangha Association as having expressed dissatisfaction with the Alexandra Street property regarding suitability for the monks. They agreed to find a more suitable property (S)

Feb 1962 Mr C. Bartlet and Mr R. Howes founding directors of the EST [English Sangha Trust] resigned (S Mar 62)

Mr Walshe became acting Chairman of the EST [English Sangha Trust] (M-EST)

28 Oct 62 131 Haverstock Hill was inaugurated. Mr Walshe, Chairman of EST [English Sangha Trust] (S Dec 62)

May 1963 Between February and May, Biddulph Old Hall was bought (S May and June 63)

Nov 1963 Ānanda Bodhi to Thailand

1963 129 Haverstock Hill was purchased. The property was rented to provide an income for the Vihāra

April 1964 Ānanda Bodhi returned and went to Biddulph and taught samādhi and vipassanā, Wat Paknam method. (S Mar 64)

April 1964 London Buddhist Vihāra moved from 10 Ovington Gds, Knightsbridge to 5 Heathfield Gds, Chiswick. Venerable Saddhātissa Mahāthera was the incumbent

1964 Lease of Sangha House, Alexandra Street finished

Venerable Sangharakshita [Dennis Lingwood] expected to arrive April (S Mar 64)

Jan 1965 Monks in residence at this time Bhikkhus Saṅgharakshita [Dennis Lingwood], Vimalo and Maṅgalo

[1965/1966/1967] Venerable Ananda Bodhi returned to England in the Fall of 1961, at the invitation of the English Sangha Trust, becoming the Resident Teacher of the Camden Town Vihara. He was a special guest speaker at the Fifth International Congress of Psychotherapists in London, where he met Julian Huxley, Anna Freud and R.D.Laing, among others. For the next three years he taught extensively throughout the UK, founding the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in London and the Johnstone House Contemplative Community—a retreat centre in southern Scotland. During this period he also joined a Masonic lodge. In 1965, when he decided to move to Toronto with two of his British students, Johnstone House was entrusted to Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Akong Tulku, becoming Kagyu Samye Ling—the first Vajrayana centre to be established in the West.
-- Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche [Venerable Ananda Bodhi/Leslie George Dawson], by Dharma Centre of Winnipeg

To celebrate 50 years of Chogyam Trungpa's arrival in the UK Rigdzin Shikpo visited Biddulph Old Hall where he received many precious teachings from Trungpa Rinpoche.

-- A Tour of Biddulph Old Hall: Rigdzin Shikpo takes us on a tour of Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire, England. Biddulph Old Hall is the site of some of Trungpa Rinpoche's early teachings in the UK, by Rigdzin Shikpo

1 Aug 66 The Thai temple opened at 99 Christchurch Road, East Sheen (S-Feb 72). Venerable Chao Khun Sobhana Dammasuddhi was the first incumbent. The King and Queen of Thailand attended, as did Bhikkhu Khantipālo (A) (CH p68)

10 Jan 67 Maurice Walshe asked John Garry to manage Biddulph. He also found Richard Randall (previously Mr Purfurst and Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho) and asked him to return

May 1967 Richard Randall became director and administrator of EST [English Sangha Trust] (R&B)

John Garry became a Director of the EST [English Sangha Trust] (M-EST)

21 Oct 67 Richard Randall reordained as the Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho for the second time at Wat Buddhapadīpa, East Sheen (ART)

Dec 1967 Alan James first came to Hampstead in December 1967. He became Sāmaṇera Dīpadhammo in February and Bhikkhu Dīpadhammo in May 1968 after ordaining at Wat Buddhapadīpa, East Sheen (S Jan 72)

1968 In 1968, Gerry Rollason arrived in Hampstead. Gerry who became an accomplished artist painted the life-size picture of Ajahn Chah presently hanging in the hall at Chithurst

23 Oct 68 His Highness the Venerable Somdet Phra Vanarata (Vice- Patriarch of Thailand) visited Hampstead

2 Mar 69 Gerry Rollason and Andrew Willoughby became sāmaṇeras. They were ordained by the Venerable Chao Khun Dhammasuddhi (Dhiravaṃsa) assisted by Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho Bhikkhu and four other monks. The two young Englishmen became Sāmaṇeras Sāsanapadipa and Saddhadikā (MW 69/70)

June 1969 Buddhist Path “Robes and a bowl” article by John Garry on Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho (S). John Garry was one of the founding MBS Members. He died on 28th September 1998 (ED)

27 July 69 Jim Harris became Bhikkhu Suddhiñāṇo at Wat Buddhapadīpa. Thus making three bhikkhus at Hampstead (MW 69/70)

1969 “Mr Maurice Walshe, due to pressure of University work has had to relinquish his editorship of The Buddhist Path after several years tireless and at times courageous service. The Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho will take his place and the magazine will use its old name of Sangha. The magazine will also function as the monthly official journal of Wat Dhammapadīpa (Hampstead Vihāra) and the Fellowship.” (MW 69/70)

Nov 1969 A meditation block comprising three “cells” and a shower room in the rear garden of 131 Haverstock Hill are nearly completed. In addition there is a wooden shed also used as a Kuṭi.

Biddulph Old Hall sold (S Nov 69)

-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaḍḍho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

The English Sangha Trust (EST) is the legal charitable body, originally established in 1956, that serves to steward donations given to the Sangha (monastic community). This is the body that in 1977 owned the Hampstead Vihara, which had no sangha in residence, and then invited Ajahn Sumedho to come from Thailand; thus began Ajahn Sumedho’s efforts to establish the Thai Forest tradition outside Thailand.

Hampstead Vihara in 1978. From L to R: visiting Roshi, Ajahn Sumedho, George Sharp, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Kemadhammo

Once the EST had a resident sangha in Hampstead, decision-making power was vested in the sangha. Then in 1979, after a donation to the sangha of 96 acres of forest in West Sussex, the sangha decided to move to Sussex. The EST then acquired Chithurst House and sold the Hampstead Vihara. Five years later, when the burgeoning resident sangha of monks and nuns at Chithurst (Cittaviveka) needed more space, the sangha and the EST decided to purchase the site that is now Amaravati.

Listen how the Sangha came to England by George Sharp
Amaravati 1
Amaravati 30 Years, by Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Sumedho, George Sharp Amaravati 2014
Amaravati 2
How the Sangha Came to England – Interview (Part 1 of 3), by George Sharp

[George Sharp] When Ven. Sujita asked me to give a talk about how things began, how I began here, I was really quite interested because I’ve never heard this story, actually. And I sort of visit a memory here and there, you know, when we are talking about things, discussing this or that event, but to actually go from the beginning through – I’ve never done it. And what is more, I’ve made no preparation. And I could get the dates wrong on chronology and things, but I’ll do my best.

1956 was when the English Sangha Trust was formed, principally by Bhikku Kapilavaddho, who was formerly known as – and he had two names, I don’t know why -- one was William Purfurst, and Richard Randall. I know that he had a wife whose name was Ruth Randall, and I never heard of any lady with the name Purfurst, but I do know that he was a reporter, or a journalist and photographer, and that’s basically all I know. I don’t know how he came to be interested in Buddhism, but what I’m sure is that he was a man of considerable imagination and courage, and probably a great romantic at heart, because he tried to do something truly exceptional, which was to actually form a sangha, with basically four Bhikkus, in this country, and to try to get it going.

So the original trust deed that was prepared is the same one – it was never amended – that the Bhikkus, the sangha uses today.

Kapilavaddho, Ven (William Purfurst, 1906-71): Founder of English Sangha Trust. Born Hanwell, Middlesex (UK). Dissatisfied with business life, began studying psychology, philosophy, etc.; went to London (on foot) and became photographer in Fleet St.; found a teacher to instruct him in Yoga and Vedanta; developed a color printing process; took up sculpture. 1939: official war photographer, then fireman during Blitz; met U Thittila whose pupil he became; got married; finally photographer with RAF [Royal Air Force]. After war began serious Buddhist studies with U Thittila at Buddhist Society (then in Great Russell Street) covering Sutta, Vinaya, and Abhidahamma. Began lecturing on Buddhism; founded Manchester Buddhist Society 1952; adopted anagarika status (with permission of wife); later became Samanera Dhammananada under U Thittila; worked for Buddhist Society; continued lecturing and founded societies in Oxford and Cambridge; also Buddhist Summer School. Later resigned samanera status and took job in Surrey hotel as barman to raise finance to go to Thailand. 1954: received lower and higher ordinations (single ceremony) in Thailand (name based on “Kapilavatthu,” Buddha’s home town; means “he who spreads the Dhamma”); surprised Thai Sangha with his knowledge, especially of Abhidamma and Pali languages; successfully practiced intensive samatha and vipassana meditation. Returned to UK, to London Buddhist Vihara, Knightsbridge, with intention of establishing English Sangha. 1955: to Thailand with 3 British samaneras (Robert Albison, George Blake, and Peter Morgan). 1956: triple ordination at Wat Paknam under Ven. Chao Khun Bhavanakosol – the core of an English Sangha. Returned to UK; acquired house in London; English Sangha Trust founded; period of great activity. 1957: due to ill health, disrobed; changed name to Richard Randall; married Ruth Lester; remained 10 years in obscurity. 1967: returned to robe at Wat Buddhapadipa under Ven. Chao Khun Sobhana Dhammasudhi; took over Hampstead Buddhist Vihara (then renamed Wat Dhammapadipa). Again disrobed. 1971: married Jacqueline Gray [Scott].

-- The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History, by John Snelling

-- How the Sangha Came to England – Interview (Part 1 of 3), by George Sharp

Amaravati 3
How the Sangha Came to England – Interview (Part 2 of 3), by George Sharp
Amaravati 4
How the Sangha Came to England – Q and A (Part 3 of 3), by George Sharp

Amaravati in the 1980s. The temple & cloisters is currently where you see the empty square in the middle

Strategic priorities

To this day the EST legally owns and manages both Cittaviveka and Amaravati monasteries and its priorities remain focused on them and their resident sangha:

• to purchase land that may support the existing monastic properties;
• to maintain the supply and good order of the four requisites (shelter, food, clothing and medicinal needs) for the sangha in the two monasteries;
• developing the monasteries in terms of buildings, land and physical structures in accordance with the wishes of the resident monastics. At Amaravati this is now being implemented through a wholly-owned subsidiary called Amaravati Developments Ltd (ADL). Details can be found here.
• to facilitate such publications in any format, as are produced or approved of by the resident monastics.

Model of proposed redevelopment of Amaravati. Notice the retreat centre, Bhikku Vihara & Sala will have different shaped buildings.


All funds given (donated) to those two monasteries are held and managed by the EST. The legal structure of the EST is that of a Charitable Company limited by twelve shares all held by monastics. There are also up to nine lay trustees. The sangha shareholders include the Abbots of Cittaviveka and Amaravati, and monks and nuns elected by the monastics representing both monasteries. The lay trustees are chosen by the sangha, and since the monastic discipline prohibits the monks and nuns from making direct financial decisions, the lay trustees are vested with the responsibility of making final decisions over allocation of finances, in accordance with the needs and wishes of the monastics.

The EST submits statutory annual accounts and returns to Companies House and the Charity Commission for England and Wales; these can be downloaded from the respective websites. As a Company and Charity the EST is also responsible for implementing the requirements of a range of bodies on subjects from tax, insurance, health and safety, child protection, immigration and fire prevention, to re-cycling.

The following link is a leaflet given out annually with a summary of Amaravati’s current activities and plans, its running costs and information on ways to help, which could include bringing a contribution such as food, making a donation, or even offering your services in some capacity (driving, gardening, etc).

EST Annual Leaflet for Amaravati 2016-2017 – PDF


The EST has a Finance Sub-Committee to advise on detailed management of its finances.

At Cittaviveka all day-to-day affairs are managed through the Cittaviveka Advisory Group (CAG).

The EST is also the steward for the Amaravati Retreat Centre.

The trustee directors

The lay trustees are all friends of the sangha who have been practising for a number of years and all have specialist skills in management, finance and related subjects. They are appointed for up to three years at a time. The current lay trustees are

• John Stevens – Chair
• Caroline Leinster – Trust Secretary
• Kazuko Kawamura
• Sudanta Abeyakoon
• Nicholas Carroll

You are welcome to contact the EST by using the form below.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:05 am

Hugh Edward Richardson
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/9/19




Sir. – Recent devastating events in Tibet caused over 15,000 Tibetans to cross the perilous Himalayas into India. It may be a long time before these unfortunate people can safely return to their overrun country. Our own consciences should allow us neither to neglect nor forget them.

The Indian Government has manfully coped with this addition to its own problems at home. In this country we are bound in honour to help relieve needs of the Tibetan refugees, because from 1905 to 1947 there was a special relationship between Tibet and the United Kingdom – a relationship handed on to the new India.

On balance we think it wisest to concentrate chiefly on collecting money which can be used for the benefit of the refugees, not least in the purchase of necessary antibiotics and other medicaments. The Tibet Society has opened a Tibet Relief Fund for which we now appeal in the hope of a generous response. Donations should be sent to the address below or direct to the National Bank Ltd. (Belgravia Branch), 21 Grosvenor Gardens, S.W.I.

Yours faithfully,

... Hugh E. Richardson ... The Tibet Relief Fund, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W. I., Letter to the Times, July 31, 1959, p.7.

-- Tibet Society, by

Hugh Richardson
Hugh Richardson, 1936, Tibet
Born 22 December 1905
St. Andrews
Died 3 December 2000 (aged 94)
Nationality British
Occupation: Diplomat, tibetologist
Spouse(s) Huldah Rennie, m. 1951
Parent(s) Colonel Hugh Richardson
Awards Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE)
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Light of Truth Award
Honorary Fellow of the British Academy (FBA)

Hugh Richardson in Tibet 1940/ 1941 said, '"Maru the pony. A good one, my dear pony"[1]

Tibetan friends gather at the British Residency in Lhasa called Dekyi Lingka, 9 September 1933

11 January 1943 signing of the Treaty Between His Majesty in Respect of the United Kingdom and India and His Excellency the President of the National Government of the Republic of China for the Relinquishment of Extra-Territorial Rights in China and the Regulation of Related Matters, became effective 20 May 1943. Front row (left to right): Wellington Koo, Horace James Seymour, T. V. Soong, Hugh Edward Richardson, Wu Guozhen

Hugh Edward Richardson CIE OBE FBA (22 December 1905 – 3 December 2000[2]) was an Indian Civil Service officer, British diplomat and Tibetologist. His academic work focused on the history of the Tibetan empire, and in particular on epigraphy. He was among the last Europeans to have known Tibet and its society before the Chinese invasions which began in 1950.

Biography and career

Born in St. Andrews, Fife, the son of a British Army medical officer, Richardson studied classics at Keble College, Oxford.[3] He entered the Indian Civil Service on 9 October 1930.[4] Transferring to the Foreign and Political Service of the Government of India, Richardson was posted to Baluchistan as an Assistant Political Agent. In July 1936, he was appointed as the British Trade Agent at Gyantse. He represented Britain in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, from 1936 to 1940 and again from 1946 to 1950, in the final years having become the diplomatic representative of the recently independent India.

Of the Tibetan government during his time in Lhasa, Richardson said:

"My counterparts were...experienced negotiators. . .and masters of procrastination and evasion, and might assume the cloak of simple people with no experience of the outside world. . .There could be no doubt I was dealing with ministers of a government that was completely independent in both its internal and external affairs."

Like many ICS officers, Richardson was an accomplished linguist who spoke Bengali fluently, a skill he put to use when conversing with Rabindranath Tagore, and his fluent Tibetan was described by the Tibetan politician Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa as "impeccable Lhasa Tibetan with a slight Oxford accent."[5] As Secretary to the Agent-General for India at Chungking, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1944 New Year Honours list, and was further appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) on 14 August 1947, in the last imperial honours list.[6][7] After Indian independence, Richardson remained in the renamed Indian Administrative Service, serving in Lhasa until his retirement in September 1950. After his retirement from public service he taught in Seattle and Bonn. He subsequently returned to St. Andrews and spent the remainder of his life as an independent scholar.

He was an advocate of the right of Tibetans to a separate political existence, a case he made in two books, Tibet and Its History (1962) and A Cultural History of Tibet (1968), and at the United Nations when the issue of Chinese oppression of Tibet was raised by the Irish Republic, represented by Frank Aiken, during the 1959 UN General Assembly debate on Tibet. There, in the words of one commentator, "he acted valiantly as a man of honour in a cause which has been largely lost because of the notions of political expediency, where sides are taken without regard to principle and in order not to risk aligning oneself with a potential loser, however deserving he may be" – a position which reportedly earned him the displeasure of both the British and Indian delegations to the UN Assembly.[8] He remained a close personal friend of the 14th Dalai Lama and of the Tibetan government-in-exile until his death, with the latter describing Richardson as "very precious to us/"

He later wrote: "The British government, the only government among Western countries to have had treaty relations with Tibet, sold the Tibetans down the river and since then have constantly cold-shouldered the Tibetans so that in 1959 they could not even support a resolution in the UN condemning the violation of human rights in Tibet by the Chinese."

Richardson also said that he was "profoundly ashamed",[9] not only at the British government's refusal to recognise that Tibet had a right to self-determination, but also at the government's treatment of the 14th Dalai Lama.[10]

Personal interests

"His hobbies were ornithology, botany and gardening and he was also an enthusiastic photographer. Another of Richardson's passions was golf, which he introduced to Tibet, although he noted that the ball tended to travel 'rather too far in the thin air'."[11]


• 1949 “Three ancient inscriptions from Tibet” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal 15, (1949): 45–64.
• 1952. Ancient historical edicts at Lhasa and the Mu Tsung / Khri Gtsung Lde Brtsan treaty of A.D. 821–822 from the inscription at Lhasa. London: Royal Asiatic Society Prize Publication Fund 19, 1952.
• 1952–3 “Tibetan inscriptions at Zva-hi Lha Khang” London: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, (1952): 133–54 (1953): 1–12.
• 1954 “A ninth-century inscription from Rkong-po.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. London, (1954): 157–73.
• 1957 “A Tibetan Inscription from Rgyal Lha-khang” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society London, (1957): 57–78.
• 1964 “A new inscription of Khri Srong Lde Brtans.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society London. (1964): 1–13.
• 1965a "How old was Srong-brtsan Sgam-po ?", Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 2, no. 1, 6–8. Repr. in Richardson 1998: 3–6.
• 1965b "A fragment from Tun-huang", Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 2, no. 3, 33–38. Repr. in Richardson 1998: 7–11.
• 1968 with David Snellgrove. A Cultural History of Tibet. 1995 2nd Edition with changes. Shambhala. Boston & London. ISBN 1-57062-102-0.
• 1969 "The inscription at the Tomb of Khri Lde Srong Btsan", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1969): 29–38
• 1969b "Tibetan chis and tschis." Asia Major 14 (1969): 154–6.
• 1972 "The rKong-po Inscription." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society London. (1972): 30–39.
• 1973 "The Skar-cung inscription." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. (1973): 12–20.
• 1974 Ch'ing Dynasty Inscriptions at Lhasa. (Serie Orientale Roma v. 47). Rome: Instituto italiano per l'africa e l'oriente. 1974.
• 1978 “The Sino-Tibetan treaty inscription of A.D. 821/823 at Lhasa.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: (1978): 137–62.
• 1982 "Memories of Tshurphu", Bulletin of Tibetology, Vol. 18, No.1, 1982: Karmapa Commemoration Volume, Repr. in Richardson 1998, pp: 730–733.
• 1983 “Bal-po and Lho-bal” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 46 (1983): 136–8.
• 1985. A corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions. (James G. Forlong Series no. 29). Hertford: Royal Asiatic Society, 1985. ISBN 0-947593-00-4.
• 1987 "Early Tibetan Inscriptions: Some Recent Discoveries” The Tibet Journal 12.2.Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan works and archives, (1987): 3–15. (reprinted with 2 short notes added) Bulletin of Tibetology n.s. 3. Gangtok Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, (1987): 5–18. High Peaks, Pure Earth. London: Serindia, 1998: 261–275.
• 1988 “More Early Inscriptions from Tibet” Bulletin of Tibetology. New Series 2. Gangtok Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology. (1988): 5–8. High Peaks, Pure Earth. London: Serindia, 1998: 276–278.
• 1989 "Early Tibetan law concerning dog-bite", Bulletin of Tibetology, new ser. 3, 5–10. Repr. in Richardson 1998: 135–139.
• 1990 "Hunting accidents in early Tibet", Tibet Journal, 15-4, 5–27. Repr. in Richardson 1998: 149–166.
• 1995a “The Tibetan Inscription attributed to Ye shes ‘od” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 3rd Series 5.3. (1995): 403–404.
• 1995b “The inscription at Ra-tshag Dgon-pa” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 58 (1995): 534–9; High Peaks, Pure Earth. London: Serindia, 1998: 286–291.
• 1997 Adventures of Tibetan Fighting Monk with Khedrup Tashi, White Orchid Books; ISBN 974-87368-7-3, Orchid Press, 2006, ISBN 974-8299-17-1
• 1998 High peaks, pure earth: collected writings on Tibetan history and culture, Serindia publications, London.


1., David Harris,. "Hugh Richardson in Tibetan clothes mounted on a horse". University of Oxford. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
2. Douglas, Ed (5 January 2001). ""Our Last Man in Lhasa, He Brought Unrivalled Knowledge of Tibet to Warnings of Chinese Ambitions" The Guardian (London), 5 January 2001 (obituary)". Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2017. In fact, Richardson's greatest threat to the Chinese was his objective observation of the labyrinthine world of Tibetan politics and his deep understanding of Tibetan culture. When he argued that Tibet had been an independent state before its occupation by the Chinese, he did so with immense authority.
3. Daily Telegraph: Obituary (9 December 2000)
4. The London Gazette, 7 November 1930
5. Our Last Man In Lhasa, He Brought Unrivalled Knowledge Of Tibet To Warnings Of Chinese Ambitions
6. The London Gazette, 1 January 1944
7. The London Gazette, 1 January 1948
8. Obituary – Dr Hugh Richardson
9. French 2003
10. My Direct Experience of Independence Tibet 1936–49 Archived 22 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
11. "Biography of Hugh Richardson (1905–2000)". Pitt River Museum. Retrieved 29 October 2013.


• Tibetan Studies in Honour of Hugh Richardson. Edited by Michael Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi, p. 284. (1979). Vikas Publishing house, New Delhi.
• French, Patrick. Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land (2003) Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4100-7
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:03 am

Committee for a Free Asia
by Central Intelligence Agency
December 13, 1951
Declassified and Released by Central Intelligence Agency Sources Methods Exemption ___ Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, Date 2007



13 December 1951

SUBJECT: Committee for a Free Asia

It is agreed by both the Department of State and CIA that there is a real job to be done in Asia by CFA [Committee for a Free Asia] – a job that State cannot do through USIS [United States Information Service] and ECA [Economic Cooperation Administration].

Until more experience is gained by CFA – particularly through its field organizations – it will not be possible to specifically define all type of activities which it should undertake. It is therefore considered important that CFA operations get underway promptly, providing, of course, that they do not compete with USIS activities nor conflict with national policies.

The revised operating program of CFA, dated December 4, 1951, (Attachment 1), is therefore approved providing that it is implemented in accordance with the policies and instructions set forth in memorandum, subject The Committee for a Free Asia, dated December 12, 1951, (Attachment 2); and provided that close coordination in the field and in Washington is maintained.


13 December 1951


The Committee for a Free Asia

General Policies

1. Although initially it will not be possible, CFA should work toward removing the U.S. label – private and public – from its operations and take on an Asian coloration.

2. CFA activities including RFA should be decentralized as far as possible and transferred from San Francisco to Asian countries.

3. CFA should operate as far as possible through local groups comprised of selected Asian leaders.

4. CFA should generally not undertake activities of the kind presently carried on or planned by USIS or other official overt U.S. agencies. The type of activities within the cognizance of USIS are set forth in Appendix A. However, there may be some occasions in which CFA can either take a more strident line or slant material of the type normally produced by USIS in a way which would not be appropriate to USIS. However, the USIS line has toughened and this area in which CFA can operate and in which USIS cannot has narrowed. There may also be certain activities of the type set forth in Appendix 1, which CFA may be able to undertake in certain areas more appropriately that USIS. Through close coordination in the field and in Washington, these may be spelled out and non-duplication insured.


1. Priorities set forth in the Operating Program should be modified so that first priority is given to the Overseas Chinese with a view to:

a. Developing leaders who are friendly to the United States who will be able to communicate with and ultimately influence other Chinese overseas and on the China mainland.

b. Denying leaders, professional, and other key personnel to the Communists.

c. Assisting where possible in the rescue and relocation of key Chinese who are presently homeless and starving.

d. Developing personnel who might be trained for intelligence stay-behind or other missions.

2. Additional emphasis should also be placed on establishing a field organization.

Radio Free Asia

RFA should be guided by the general policies set forth above. More specifically:

1. RFA should phase out broadcasts which bear the U.S. label from San Francisco. RFA should be a voice of Asia.

2. RFA should generally avoid the kind of program which VOA [Voice of America] broadcasts and for which the U.S. Government can accept responsibility, (in this regard there are few restrictions to be placed on VOA as respects the toughness of its anti-Communist line).

3. Operations should be transferred to Asia and decentralized as far as possible so that broadcasts can be made under the sponsorship of local groups through local stations, as near as possible to the target audience. Broadcasts should be made via medium wave where possible.

4. Example of the kinds of activities which can be undertaken by RFA and which can not be appropriately handled by VOA are:

a. Broadcasts designed to influence political elections.

b. Broadcasts aimed at assisting specific local labor, youth, teachers, women or other groups, whose goals are consistent with long range U.S. interests.

c. Influencing the development of leadership by giving hearing to selected leaders and withholding it from others.

d. Openly encouraging the subversion of the Chinese Communist Government.

e. Take stands against specific persons and specific groups: the corruption of a Tony Quirino; the leaders of communist dominated unions.

f. Act as a transmitter of black “plants” and “twisted” stories, under specifically defined controls.

g. Encourage debates and discussions loaded as required.

5. It is recognized that news such as that provided by PANA and features such as those already broadcast directly by RFA remain important aspects of a gray psychological warfare program as well as audience-gaining assets. RFA will follow the general principle, however, of furnishing such news and features to local groups for their use rather than for direct production under the RFA label.

It is considered that the development of a strictly Asian commercial newsgathering organization, specializing in local news and not seemingly subsidized by a U.S. instrumentality, is advantageous to the U.S. Government as a whole as well as to the over-all objectives and activities of the Committee.


* Listed below are examples of activities undertaken by the Department of State and/or ECA. Normally the association of such activities with the U.S. government is either acknowledged or if not, the association if it became known would not embarrass the U.S. government or discredit the activity.

a. The Voice of America broadcasts.

b. Contracts for purchase of published materials for overt distribution abroad, including subscriptions to magazines, purchase of additional copies of books, pamphlets or other printed material prepared by foreign organizations, publishing houses, trade unions, et cetera.

c. Contracts for dissemination of information materials such as posters, pamphlets, or leaflets, motion picture films, still photos, exhibits, et cetera.

d. Contracts with publishers, motion picture producers, and other producers of information media for production of materials for foreign distribution.

e. Direct production and dissemination of material which may be attributed to the United States Government without serious embarrassment or produced and/or disseminated without attribution to any source.

* Extracted from USIS publication dated November 1, 1951, Subject: USIS and Indigenous Operations.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:13 am

The Asia Foundation [Committee for Free Asia]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/9/19



The Asia Foundation
Motto "Strengthen governance, empower woman, expand economic opportunities, increase environmental resilience, promote international cooperation"
Formation 1954
Type Nonprofit organization
Headquarters San Francisco, CA, United States
President and CEO
David D. Arnold
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015) $109,163,737[1]

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to "improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia."[2] Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, its programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women's empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of 18 offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC.

The "Committee For Free Asia" was founded in 1951 as a CIA operation.[3] Its name was changed to "The Asia Foundation" in 1954.[4] The Foundation marked its 60 years of experience in Asia working with private and public partners in the areas of leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research.[5] Starting January 1, 2011, David D. Arnold serves as president of the Foundation.[6] The Foundation is governed by an eminent and well-known group of private sector trustees.


"The Asia Foundation (TAF), a Central Intelligence Agency proprietary, was established in 1954 to undertake cultural and educational activities on behalf of the United States Government in ways not open to official U.S. agencies."[18]

The Asia Foundation is an outgrowth of the Committee for a Free Asia, which was founded by the U.S. government in 1951.[19] CIA funding and support of the Committee for a Free Asia and the Asia Foundation were assigned the CIA code name "Project DTPILLAR".[20]

In 1954, the Committee for a Free Asia was renamed the Asia Foundation (TAF) and incorporated in California[21] as a private, nominally non-governmental organization devoted to promoting democracy, rule of law, and market-based development in post-war Asia.

Among the original founding officers of the board, there were several presidents/chairmen of large companies including T.S. Peterson, CEO of Standard Oil of California (now Chevron), Brayton Wilbur, president of Wilbur-Ellis Co., and J.D. Zellerbach, chairman of the Crown Zellerbach Corporation; four university presidents including Grayson Kirk from Columbia, J.E. Wallace Sterling of Stanford, and Raymond Allen from UCLA; prominent attorneys including Turner McBaine and A. Crawford Greene; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James Michener; Paul Hoffman, the first administrator of the Marshall Plan in Europe; and several major figures in foreign affairs.

In 1966, Ramparts revealed that the CIA was covertly funding a number of organizations, including the Asia Foundation.[18] A commission authorized by President Johnson and led by Secretary of State Rusk determined that the Asia Foundation should be preserved and overtly funded by the US government. Following this change, the US government described the Asia Foundation as a "quasi-nongovernmental organizations" and said that "the core of its budget" was still provided by the US government.[22] The Foundation began to restructure its programming, shifting away from its earlier goals of "building democratic institutions and encouraging the development of democratic leadership" toward an emphasis on Asian development as a whole (CRS 1983).


The Asia Foundation works with local leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance reforms. Across Asia, the nonprofit organization is improving lives and expanding opportunities by:

• Providing 50 million books to tens of thousands of schools, libraries, and universities.[7]
• Organizing nationwide election monitoring and voter education to ensure free and fair elections and strengthen democracy in virtually every Asian country that has undergone a democratic transition over the past six decades.
• Educating more than a million migrant workers in over one thousand factories in China's Pearl River Delta on their legal rights, safety, and personal health.[8]
• Protecting the basic rights of women through our work to counter human trafficking, fight gender-based violence, increase political participation, and strengthen legal systems.[9]
• Providing life-changing professional opportunities for newly emerging Asian leaders.[10]
• Reducing the human and financial toll of natural disasters by equipping government officials, businesses, and community leaders in disaster planning and response.[11]
• Creating jobs by improving the business climate and reducing red tape for local entrepreneurs and small businesses.
• Reducing violence through peacebuilding efforts in some of the most entrenched conflict zones in the region, including Southern Thailand, Pakistan, Mindanao, and Sri Lanka.[12]
• Conducting ground-breaking empirical surveys to assess the quality and responsiveness of government services, patterns of corruption, and levels of violence, including the most comprehensive public opinion poll in Afghanistan.[13]

Global presence

The Asia Foundation addresses issues on both a country and regional level through a network of 18 offices around the world.[14] In cooperation with local partners in government and civil society, the Foundation's international and local staff provide insight and program on a variety of development challenges. Besides its headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, D.C., it has a presence in the following Asian nations:

• Afghanistan
• Bangladesh
• Cambodia
• China
• East Timor
• Hong Kong
• India
• Indonesia
• Japan
• Korea
• Laos
• Malaysia
• Mongolia
• Myanmar
• Nepal
• Pacific Islands
• Pakistan
• Philippines
• Singapore
• Sri Lanka
• Taiwan
• Thailand
• Vietnam

Program areas

Governance and law

The Asia Foundation's largest program area – governance and law – develops and supports initiatives that build more effective and responsive governance in Asia. The Foundation cooperates with a broad network of partners in government, civil society, and the private sector to improve governing institutions in order to help accelerate economic and social change, reduce corruption, manage conflict, and increase citizen participation.

Its sub-programming areas include:

• Governance (local/municipal governance, counter corruption, central executive institutions, parliamentary development, constitutional development)
• Law and Justice (strengthening and reform of formal and informal law and justice mechanisms, supporting efforts to increased community safety and security, particularly through community-oriented policing, and programs aimed specifically at empowering and protecting the rights of marginalized populations)
• Conflict and Fragile Conditions (subnational conflict, peacebuilding, and civil military relations)
• Elections (free and fair elections and democratic practice, open flows of information, and political parties)

Women's empowerment

While women in Asia have made steady gains in recent years, gender inequality remains a significant problem. For 60 years, The Asia Foundation has supported women and girls across the Asia-Pacific region. Its Women's Empowerment Program was established in 1994 and has transformed the lives of thousands of women and girls through significant programs that focus on three key areas: expanding women's economic opportunities, increasing women's personal rights and security, and advancing women's political participation. The Foundation supports an integrated and coordinated approach that integrates gender into its work in governance, economic development, regional cooperation, and the environment.[15]

Development and aid effectiveness

Development and aid effectiveness is a way through which the Asia Foundation brings together both their long standing and emerging donors and experts of development to have an exchange of ideas on how to best resolve key challenges in development; examples of this include the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid and Effectiveness and Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation. In these seminars and forums the Asia Foundation successful creates an open dialogue among the participants resulting in collaborative and cooperative approach to dealing with issues of development in Asia. A crucial element of this program is that it is brings together government official, policy makers, philanthropists all to one table—an approach missing from most NGOs who operate solely on implementing programs that their organizations initiate and support. Nina Merchant describes the role of Rigorous Impact analysis in the Foundations

Economic development

The Asia Foundation has a decades-long history of supporting broad-based economic growth across Asia through both public and private channels. The Foundation's Economic Development programs support Asian initiatives to enhance economic governance to accelerate and sustain inclusive economic growth and broaden economic opportunities through design and implementation in three core program areas: 1) improving the business environment for private sector growth, 2) advancing regional economic cooperation, and 3) supporting entrepreneurship development.

The Foundation works with local partners to design and implement program activities focusing on promoting investment and private enterprises, inclusive and equitable growth, empowering entrepreneurs and fostering intra and inter-regional trade by removing non-tariff barriers and strengthening domestic demand. From the sub-national level to regionally across borders, the Foundation is building coalitions for change that result in better business environments, job creation, and lasting change for individuals, families and communities.

Economic Development Impacts:

• The Asia Foundation has developed a powerful set of research tools, like the Economic Governance Indices (EGIs), Business Climate Barometers, and Regulatory Impact Assessments, which measure the quality of local business environments and the costs associated with poor policies. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of business environments, local business owners and public officials are better able to identify and address specific areas for improvement. To date, the Foundation has developed EGIs in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
• The Asia Foundation has facilitated multi-stakeholder public-private coalitions to address issues hindering economic and business growth, such as business forums to secure access to credit for entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, dialogues to simplify business licensing processes and reductions in local taxes and informal fees in Cambodia, and a regional forum to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for regional integration in South-East Asia.

Books for Asia

A building used to store English books donated by the Asia Foundation at the National Library of Vietnam

Since 1954, Books for Asia has donated more than 40 million books to libraries in dozens of Asian countries, impacting the lives of millions of Asians. In 2006 alone, Books for Asia donated 920,000 books and educational materials valued at $30 million to schools and educational institutions in 15 countries. Books for Asia's donations help inspire Asia's students, citizens, and future leaders by enhancing English-language capacity, sharpening vocational and research skills, improving their knowledge about America, and giving the gift of enhanced literacy to children. The Asia Foundation's experienced local staff throughout Asia allows the Books for Asia program to work with librarians and educators to identify needs and appropriate materials, and to distribute requested books quickly and efficiently.

In 2005, Books for Asia's donations had a special focus on communities affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004. Donations from publisher Scholastic, Inc., and a timely endorsement by the Association of American Publishers, helped Books for Asia respond to the urgent need for books in schools and libraries in Sri Lanka and Thailand that were devastated by the disaster. As these communities rebuild, Books for Asia will continue to provide access to children's books, with a total of more than 300,000 reaching affected schools by the end of 2006.

Books for Asia in Timor Leste

"Books for Asia" is one of the many initiatives that have been put forth by TAF. Under this program, one million brand-new books are put into the hands of students, educators, and local and national leaders in 18 countries annually. The Asia Foundation recognizes that books change lives and help shape young people's imaginations, critical thinking skills, and their understanding of the world. Therefore, they are recognized as powerful tools to combat poverty and inspire positive, long-lasting change.

The main objective of the program is to provide access to information through reading materials, and cultivating a culture of reading and literature and linking people together in today's world. Under TAF, resources are made available for the people in Timor-Leste to enhance their mastery of English language; sharpen vocational and research skills, build knowledge in the business, legal and sciences professions. This enables people in Timor-Leste, regardless of their age, to equip themselves with more knowledge and skills through reading. This project also seeks to infuse children with an early love for reading, which is critical to increasing literacy rates.

Since TAF's founding in 1954, 45 million books, software programs and other educational materials have been donated to tens of thousands of learning institutions. Each year, the Asia Foundation in Timor-Leste receives brand new, high quality books donated by prominent publishers in the U.S. These books are catalogued and distributed to the recipients in Timor-Leste based on requests as well as through book drives.

The Mobile Library Program also consistently extends the Books for Asia program and its outreach to a bigger community in Timor-Leste. Extensions of the program are achieved through routine visits to schools, libraries and universities in Timor-Leste. These materials will eventually improve the quality of educational institutions currently available in Timor-Leste. Apart from the Books for Asia program, the Foundation also supports initiatives that spur literacy, promote understanding of democratic principles and strengthen civic participation. For example, the Foundation supported events jointly organized by Alieu Training and Resource Center (A resource center in the rural area of Timor-Leste) and the Ministry of Education that encourages children to continue schooling by recognizing the children's accomplishments in their education. In 2007, the resource center conducted a speech contest for school children in the Aileu District; and in 2008 and 2009, reading contests for school children was held for the children in Aileu District

Today, the Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program in Timor-Leste has distributed 9,942 books to more than 40 public, school, university and local NGO libraries as well as government agencies. More than 3,000 of the books are allocated toward book fairs to help increase awareness about the important role of reading.


Through its Asian American Exchange unit, The Asia Foundation seeks to encourage greater understanding between Asians and Americans with the ultimate aim of contributing toward strengthened U.S.-Asia relations. For over six decades, Foundation grants have provided thousands of participants with opportunities to exchange views, professional perspectives, and gain direct experience with regions other than their own through high-quality tailored fellowships, study tours, workshops, and other programs. Notable programs include:

• The Foundation's Asian Perspectives Series and Emerging Issues Series brought Asian civil society leaders and policymakers to Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues across the region.
• The Foundation's Ellsworth Bunker Asian Ambassadors Series, also organized by the Foundation's Washington office, brought together ambassadors from Asia and select U.S. government, business, policy, and media leaders.
• The Asia Foundation also continued its 30-year partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation to administer an internship program for young Americans with leadership potential. Since 1974, the Asia Foundation has developed and overseen placements for more than 700 Luce Scholars in East and Southeast Asia.[16]


The Asia Foundation's Environment program supports Asian initiatives to ensure the sustainability of the environment and natural resources critical to Asia's development and future well-being. The Foundation works with a broad range of local stakeholders including civil society, government, and the private sector to strengthen the institutions and processes through which environmental resources are managed, and to improve environmental policy. Areas where the Foundation is having an impact in Asia include: advancing responsible mining and natural resource management in Mongolia; increasing public participation and transparency in environmental decision-making in China; and preparing for natural disasters and climate change in the Pacific Islands, among others.

Regional cooperation

The Asia Foundation's Regional Cooperation program works to strengthen relations among Asian nations and their peoples in the effort to foster peace, stability, prosperity, and effective governance. Its focus includes fostering regional cooperation on critical issues in Southeast, Northeast, and South Asia; foreign policy capacity-building in select countries in developing Asia; providing life-changing opportunities for emerging leaders in the region; and facilitating policy dialogues on Asian affairs and U.S.-Asian relations in Washington.[17]

Board of Trustees

Officers of the Board of Trustees

• Sunder Ramaswamy, Chair of the Board and Executive Committee
• S. Timothy Kochis, Vice Chair of the Board and Executive Committee
• Kathleen Stephens, Vice Chair of the Board and Executive Committee
• Daniel F. Feldman, Treasurer of the Board and Executive Committee
• Teresita C. Schaffer, Secretary of the Board and Executive Committee
• David D. Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer
• Suzanne E. Siskel, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
• Gordon Hein, Senior Vice President, Programs
• Nancy Yuan, Senior Vice President and Director, Washington, D.C.
• Ken Krug, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
• Amy Ovalle, Vice President, Global Communications
• Mandy Au Yeung, Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees[23]

Members of the Board of Trustees

• Terrence B. Adamson
• William L. Ball
• Howard L. Berman
• Robert O. Blake Jr.
• Jerome L. Dodson
• Elizabeth Economy
• Karl Eikenberry
• Ted Eliot III
• Daniel F. Feldman
• Winnie C. Feng
• Jared Frost
• Michael J. Green
• Noeleen Heyzer
• Karl F. Inderfurth
• Stephen Kahng
• Mark W. Lippert
• Clare Lockhart
• Patricia M. Loui
• Meredith Ludlow
• James D. McCool
• Janet Montag
• Moon Kook-Hyun
• Lauren Kahea Moriarty
• Adil Najam
• William H. Neukom
• Dustin Palmer
• Iromi Perera
• Ruby Shang
• Masako H. Shinn
• Deanne Weir[23]


In 2006, the Asia Foundation provided more than $53 million in program support and distributed 920,000 books and educational materials valued at $30 million throughout Asia.


1. "The Asia Foundation" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
2. "The Asia Foundation: Improving Lives, Expanding Opportunities". Funds for NGOs. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
3. Crewdson, John (December 26, 1977). ""Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A."". New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
4. Best, Emma (November 2, 2017). ""The stolen history of the CIA and the Asian Foundation Financial records and declassified files reveal decades of distortions regarding the Agency's ties to the non-profit"". Muckrock. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
5. "Critical Issues Facing Asia: Marking 60 Years". World Affairs. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
6. Rogin, Josh (9 June 2010). "Arnold to lead the Asia Foundation". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
8. "Asia Foundation". China CSR Map. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
9. "Campaign theme". International Women’s Day. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
10. DE Vos, Manola (26 May 2014). "The next big thing in development: What Asia's young leaders think". Devex. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
11. Tri Thanh, Nguyen (18 April 2012). "To Reduce Impact of Natural Disasters, Vietnam Must Engage Small Businesses". The Asia Foundation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
12. ... tice-first
13. Allen, Karen (5 December 2013). "Survey on Afghan fears over corruption and security". BBC News. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
14. Duxbury, Sarah (7 June 2010). "Asia Foundation names new president". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
15. "USAID Supports Afghan Women-owned Businesses to Become More Competitive". USAID. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
16. "New Report Reveals Trends and Implications of Conflict in Asia". The Asia Foundation. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
17. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
18. "Doc. 132: Memorandum from the Central Intelligence Agency to the 303 Committee". Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume X, National Security Policy. US Department of State. June 22, 1966. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
19. "Routing and Record Sheet: Committee for a Free Asia" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency.
20. "DTPILLAR". Internet Archive.
21. Congressional Research Service (February 1983). "The Asia Foundation: Past, Present and Future" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency.
22. Congressional Research Service (February 1983). "The Asia Foundation: Past, Present and Future" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency.
23. "Our People". The Asia Foundation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links

• Official website of the Asia Foundation
• Asia Foundation Records at the Hoover Institution Archives
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:30 am

Radio Free Asia
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/9/19



Radio Free Asia
Abbreviation RFA
Formation 1951
Type Private, non-profit Sec 501(c)3 corporation
Purpose Broadcast Media
Washington, D.C.
Official language
Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, Uyghur, Korean, Burmese, Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese
Owner U.S. Agency for Global Media
Libby Liu
Parent organization
U.S. Agency for Global Media
$43.1 million (2018)[1]

Radio Free Asia (RFA) is a private, nonprofit international broadcasting corporation that broadcasts and publishes online news, information and commentary to readers and listeners in East Asia. Its self-stated mission is "to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press."[2]

Based on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, it was established in the 1990s with the aim of promoting democratic values and human rights, and diminishing Chinese Communist control.[3] It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Agency for Global Media (formerly the "Broadcasting Board of Governors"), an independent agency of the United States government.[2][4]

A short-lived earlier incarnation of Radio Free Asia also existed in the 1950s, as an anti-Communist propaganda operation funded by the CIA.[3][5]

RFA distributes content in nine Asian languages for audiences in China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma.[6]


Radio Free Asia was founded and funded in the 1950s by an organization called "Committee for Free Asia" as an anti-communist propaganda operation, broadcasting from RCA facilities in Manila, Philippines,[7] and Dacca and Karachi, Pakistan (there may be other sites) until 1961. Some offices were in Tokyo. The parent organization was given as the Asia Foundation. In 1971 CIA involvement ended and all responsibilities were transferred to a presidentially appointed Board for International Broadcasting (BIB).[8][9][10]

With the passage of International Broadcasting Act in 1994, RFA was brought under auspices of the United States Information Agency where it remained until the agency's cessation of broadcasting duties and transitioned to U.S. Department of State operated BBG in 1999. In May 1994, President Bill Clinton announced the continuation of Radio Free Asia after 2009 was dependent on its increased international broadcasting and ability to reach its audience.[11] In September 2009, the 111th Congress amended the International Broadcasting Act to allow a one-year extension of the operation of Radio Free Asia.[12]

The current Radio Free Asia is a US-funded organization, incorporated in March 1996, and began broadcasting in September 1996. It bears no relation to the 1950 organization.[13]

RFA broadcasts in nine languages, via shortwave, satellite transmissions, medium-wave (AM and FM radio), and through the Internet. The first transmission was in Mandarin Chinese and it is RFA's most broadcast language at twelve hours per day. RFA also broadcasts in Cantonese, Tibetan (Kham, Amdo, and Uke dialects), Uyghur, Burmese, Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer (to Cambodia) and Korean (to North Korea). The Korean service launched in 1997 with Jaehoon Ahn as its founding director.[14]

After the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 American interest in starting a government broadcasting organization grew.[15] The International Broadcasting Act was passed by the Congress of the United States in 1994. Radio Free Asia is formally a private, non-profit corporation.[16] RFA is funded by an annual federal grant from and administered by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The BBG serves as RFA's corporate board of directors, making and supervising grants to RFA.

International response

Radio jamming and Internet blocking

Further information: Radio jamming in China and Radio jamming in Korea

Since broadcasting began in 1996, Chinese authorities have consistently jammed RFA broadcasts.[17]

Three RFA reporters were denied access to China to cover U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit in June 1998. The Chinese embassy in Washington had initially granted visas to the three but revoked them shortly before President Clinton left Washington en route to Beijing. The White House and United States Department of State filed complaints with Chinese authorities over the matter but the reporters ultimately did not make the trip.[17][18]

The Vietnamese-language broadcast signal was also jammed by the Vietnamese government since the beginning.[19] Human rights legislation has been proposed in Congress that would allocate money to counter the jamming.[20] Research by the OpenNet Initiative, a project that monitors Internet filtering by governments worldwide, showed that the Vietnamese-language portion of the Radio Free Asia website was blocked by both of the tested ISPs in Vietnam, while the English-language portion was blocked by one of the two ISPs.[21]

To address radio jamming and Internet blocking by the governments of the countries that it broadcasts to, the RFA website contains instruction on how to create anti-jamming antennas and information on web proxies.[22]

On March 30, 2010, China's Web filter, known as "the Great Firewall", temporarily blocked all Google searches in China, due to an unintentional association with the long-censored term "rfa."[23] According to Google, the letters, associated with Radio Free Asia, were appearing in the URLs of all Google searches, thereby triggering China's filter to block search results.

Arrests of journalists' relatives

In 2014–2015 China arrested three brothers of RFA Uyghur Service journalist Shohret Hoshur. Their jailing was widely described by Western publishers as Chinese authorities' efforts to target Hoshur for his reports on otherwise unreported violent events of ethnic Han-Uighur tensions in China's Xinjiang region.[24][25][26][27]


Broadcasting Information (Channels 1, 2, 3, 4)
Language Service / Launch Date / Daily Broadcast Hours

Burmese / February 1997 / 8 Hours, Daily ÷ over 3 channels

Cantonese / May 1998 / 7 Hours, Daily ÷ over 2 channels

Khmer / September 1997 / 5 Hours, Daily, 1 ch

Korean / March 1997 / 9 Hours, Daily, 1 ch

Lao / August 1997 / 5 Hours, Daily, 1 ch

Mandarin / September 1996 / 24 Hours, Daily ÷ over 3 channels

Tibetan / December 1996 / 23 Hours, Daily, 1 ch

Uyghur / December 1998 / 6 Hours, Daily, 1 ch

Vietnamese / February 1997 / 8 Hours, Daily ÷ over 2 channels

Its functions, as listed in 22 U.S.C. § 6208, are:

1. [to] provide accurate and timely information, news, and commentary about events in Asia and elsewhere; and

2. [to] be a forum for a variety of opinions and voices from within Asian nations whose people do not fully enjoy freedom of expression.

Additionally, the International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (Title III of Pub.L. 103–236), which authorised the creation of the RFA, contains the following paragraph:

The continuation of existing U.S. international broadcasting, and the creation of a new broadcasting service to people of the People's Republic of China and other countries of Asia, which lack adequate sources of free information and ideas, would enhance the promotion of information and ideas, while advancing the goals of U.S. foreign policy.

This appears among a list of both "Congressional Findings and Declarations of Purpose", though which it is, is not specified. The subsequent section, outlining "Standards and Principles" states that all US-funded broadcasting should be "consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States", with news that is "consistently reliable and authoritative, accurate, objective, and comprehensive".[28]


In 1999, Catharin Dalpino of the Brookings Institution, who served in the Clinton State Department as a deputy assistant secretary deputy for human rights, called Radio Free Asia "a waste of money." "Wherever we feel there is an ideological enemy, we're going to have a Radio Free Something," she says. Dalpino said she has reviewed scripts of Radio Free Asia's broadcasts and views the station's reporting as unbalanced. "They lean very heavily on reports by and about dissidents in exile. It doesn't sound like reporting about what's going on in a country. Often, it reads like a textbook on democracy, which is fine, but even to an American it's rather propagandistic."[29]

According to a report by the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. government, official state-controlled newspapers in China have run editorials claiming Radio Free Asia is a CIA broadcast operation, as was the case with the first Radio Free Asia.[15]

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency has referred to Radio Free Asia as "reptile broadcasting services."[30] Kim Chol-min, third secretary of North Korea, in statement submitted at the United Nations, accusing the United States of engaging in "psychological warfare" with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea through RFA.[31]

Following the Burmese Saffron Revolution in the fall of 2007, the Myanmar junta held rallies attended by thousands holding signs that condemned external interference and accused Radio Free Asia, the Voice of America, and the BBC of "airing a skyful of lies."[32] In October 2007, Burmese state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar singled out "big powers" and Radio Free Asia, among other international broadcasters, as inciting protesters during the Saffron Revolution.[33]


• min magazine's "Best of the Web". 2017 for "Best Multimedia Feature".
• Sigma Delta Chi award. 2015. The Society of Professional Journalists.
• Annual Human Rights Press Award. 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2000. Amnesty International, Hong Kong Journalists Association, Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong.
• International Activist Award, 2005, Gleitsman Foundation.
• Edward R. Murrow Regional Award, 2005, 2003, 2002, and 2001. Radio-Television News Directors Association.
• New York Festivals radio awards named Radio Free Asia "Broadcaster of the Year" in 2009. RFA won one medal in 2015; one in 2014; two in 2013; one in 2012; one in 2011; two in 2010; seven in 2009; two in 2008; one in 2007; one in 2004; and one in 2000.
• Gracie Allen Award, 2013, 2010, and 2008. American Women in Radio and Television.
• Consumer Rights award, 2008. Hong Kong Consumer Council, Hong Kong Journalists Association.
• Society of Environmental Journalists, 2012 and 2010. Society of Environmental Journalists
• Courage in Journalism Award, 2010. International Women's Media Foundation

See also

• United States portal
• Politics portal
• Radio portal
• China Radio International
• International broadcasting
• International Broadcasting Bureau
• Murder of Robert Eric Wone, former counsel for Radio Free Asia[34]
• Open Technology Fund – a Radio Free Asia program that was created in 2012 to support global Internet freedom technologies
• Radio Taiwan International


1. "RFA – USAGM". Retrieved January 3, 2019.
2. Radio Free Asia – About Retrieved 10 November 2015
3. David Welch (November 27, 2013). Propaganda, Power and Persuasion: From World War I to Wikileaks. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-0-85773-737-3.
4. "About". Broadcasting Board of Governors. n.d. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
5. Central Intelligence Agency (April 1, 1953). "Memorandum For: Special Assistant to the President; International Radio Broadcasting by Radio Free Asia" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
7. Central Intelligence Agency (April 1, 1953). "Memorandum For: Special Assistant to the President; International Radio Broadcasting by Radio Free Asia" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
8. Tom Engelhardt: "The End of Victory Culture". Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation (University of Massachusetts Press 1998); p. 120. ISBN 1-55849-133-3.
9. Helen Laville, Hugh Wilford: "The US Government, Citizen Groups And the Cold War". p. 215. The State-Private Network (Routledge 1996). ISBN 0-415-35608-3.
10. Daya Kishan Thussu: "International Communication". Continuity and Change (Arnold 2000). p. 37. ISBN 0-340-74130-9.
11. Executive Order 12, 850, 3 C.F.R. 606, 607 § 1(b).
12. Bill Text Versions for the 111th Congress, 2009–2010. The Library of Congress.[1]
13. Mann, Jim (September 30, 1996). "After 5 Years of Political Wrangling, Radio Free Asia Becomes a Reality". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
14. Brown, Emma (June 10, 2011). "Jaehoon Ahn, reporter and Post researcher, dies". Washington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
15. Susan B. Epstein: CRS Report for Congress Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (PDF)
16. "Governance and Corporate Leadership". Radio Free Asia. n.d. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
17. Mann, "China Bars 3 Journalists From Clinton's Trip", The Los Angeles Times, June 23, 1998
18. Sieff/Scully "Radio Free Asia reporters stay home; Clinton kowtows to Beijing's ban, critics contend", The Washington Times, June 24, 1998
19. "Radio Free Asia says broadcasts to Vietnam are being jammed". CNN. February 7, 1997. Retrieved February 11,2008.
20. "H.R. 1587 Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2004". Congressional Budget Office. June 24, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
21. "OpenNet Initiative: Vietnam". OpenNet Initiative. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
22. "RFA: Anti-jamming antenna". Retrieved February 11, 2008.
23. Censky, Annalyn (March 30, 2010). "Google blames China's 'great firewall' for outage". CNN. Retrieved March 30,2010.
24. Forsythe, Michael (July 31, 2015). "A Voice From China's Uighur Homeland, Reporting From the U.S." New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
25. Casey, Michael (July 9, 2015). "China's War Against One American Journalist". Slate. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
26. Denyur, Simon (January 8, 2015). "China uses long-range intimidation of U.S. reporter to suppress Xinjiang coverage". Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
27. Editorial Board (June 9, 2015). "China exports repression beyond its borders". Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
28. Pub.L. 103–236, Sec. 303
29. Dick Kirschten: Broadcast News May 1, 1999
30. "KCNA raps U.S. despicable psychological warfare against DPRK," February 22, 2008 BBC Monitoring Service
31. General Assembly GA/SPD/430 United Nations Department of Public Information, October 2009
32. On Quiet Streets of Myanmar Fear Is a Constant Companion International Herald Tribune. October 21, 2007
33. Myanmar guards accused of detainee abuse Associated Press. October 11, 2007
34. Duggan, Paul; Clarence Williams (November 1, 2008). "Cover-Up Alleged in D.C. Killing Of Lawyer". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 31, 2008.

Further reading

• Engelhardt, Tom (1998). The End of Victory Culture. Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-133-3.
• Laville, Helen; Wilford, Hugh (1996). The US Government, Citizen Groups And the Cold War. The State-Private Network. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-35608-3.
• Thussu, Daya Kishan (2000). International Communication. Continuity and Change. Arnold. ISBN 0-340-74130-9.
• Defty, Andrew (2004). Britain, America and Anti-Communist Propaganda, 1945–53. The Information Research Department. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-5443-4.

External links

• Official website
• Broadcasting of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America is Pulled in Cambodia US Department of State Press Release
• Updated news
• Radio Free Asia, Legal Information Institute
• L.A. Times articles about Radio Free Asia
• Guide to the Radio Free Asia Vietnamese Broadcasts. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
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