My Land and My People by Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, HH Dalai

By Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, HH Dalai Lama XIV.

Account of his nine yr fight, as Tibet's temporal and religious chief, to maintain a few degree of independence for his state after the chinese language Communists invaded in 1950.

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W e had an army, but it was very small. Its main work was to man the frontier posts and to stop unauthorized foreigners coming into the country. This army also formed our police force, except in the city of Lhasa, which had its own police, and in the monasteries. In Lhasa, the army added military color to ceremonies and lined the route whenever I left the palaces. It had a curious history. About fifty years ago, when we were having trouble with the Chinese, my predecessor decided to bring the army up to date by employing a few foreign instructors for a short while.

Some acted as moneylenders, and a few charged rates of interest higher than I can approve. But on the whole they were not economically self-sufficient. Most of them depended more or less on sub­ sidies, mainly of food, from the government. This was the reason why the government held stocks of grain and tea and butter, and also of cloth, in the cellars of the Potala and else­ where. These subsidies, of course, came ultimately from the rents or taxes of the laity. I have mentioned soldiers. W e had an army, but it was very small.

The people of these places also joined in the proces­ sions, while horns and flutes and drums and cymbals sounded, and clouds of smoke rose from incense burners. Everyone, lay­ man or monk, was dressed in his best clothes and welcomed me with folded hands and a happy smile on his face, as I passed through the throngs. Looking out from my palanquin, I remember seeing people shedding tears of joy. Music and dancing followed me everywhere. The next important place in our jcurney was Dum Uma Thang.

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