The Dalai C.I.A. Lama

Revolutionary Worker #985, December 6, 1998

The organization of the Dalai Lama issued a statement on October 1 admitting that it received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of Tibetan exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. According to the New York Times (Oct. 1), the Dalai Lama's organization said they received $1.7 million a year to arm, train and pay their contra forces. This statement also revealed for the first time that the Dalai Lama himself was a paid CIA agent during this period, receiving an annual paycheck of $186,000 from the U.S. intelligence services.

This Tibetan contra war was started in 1959, after feudal forces attempted a counterrevolutionary uprising in Tibet. The Dalai Lama fled his throne as god-king of Tibet and went into exile in India. The CIA then used the Dalai Lama as the frontman for their covert operations into Tibet and western China. Over a decade later when the CIA called it off, this covert war had been a complete failure. The Maoist movement had developed significant roots in Tibet during land reform and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, while the Lamaist/CIA operation had developed very little support among Tibet's people. The Lamaist forces leading this covert operation were notorious for their corruption and passivity.

For 30 years, Maoist revolutionaries have claimed that the Dalai Lama and his family worked with the CIA, and directed an exiled mercenary army that carried out sabotage, espionage and assassination in Tibet from bases in neighboring Bhutan and Nepal.

Over the same period, the Dalai Lama has promoted himself as a man of peace and a fighter for justice. Many people in the West have been taken in by this, and have even been influenced by Tibetan Lamaism's extremely conservative form of Buddhism. A movement has developed in the West supporting him--often believing that he represents the cause of self-determination and justice in Tibet. Meanwhile, after capitalism was restored in China following Mao Tsetung's death in 1976, the focus of the Dalai Lama's work has been to seek an accommodation with the new revisionist rulers in Beijing that would secure a position within their power structure for himself and his followers.

Now the Dalai Lama's own organization has confirmed that in the 1960s he was involved in the covert CIA military operations that were fighting to extend U.S. domination in Asia. The only defense raised by the recent October 1 statement is that the Dalai Lama did not personally enrich himself from those CIA funds. The statement claims that he used his CIA salary to finance offices in New York and Geneva to promote the Lamaists' feudal cause. In other words, they admit that the Dalai Lama was a paid CIA agent, but deny he was a corrupt CIA agent.


The RW series "The True Story of Maoist Revolution in Tibet" documents the contra war waged by the Tibetan Lamaists, as well as the counterrevolutionary role of the Dalai Lama in all the many stages of his career. It is available at RW Online,

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