Children of a Lhasa God

It is 40 years since the Dalai Lama escaped into exile in India with 100,000 Tibetans, and there is turmoil in his “little Tibet”. Some of the young refugees believe they should resort to violence to oppose China. All fear the future when their leader dies.

  1. The Dalai Lama was having a hectic day. The young president of the Kalmyck Republic, an unlikely Buddhist state on the Caspian Sea that is an autonomous segment of Russia, had just left the Dalai Lama's brightly-decorated audience room. The president had received a rebuke for the growing corruption of his young administration, which had been reported to the Dalai Lama a few days earlier by the Kalmyck leader of the opposition.

    In an ante-room, a Norwegian journalist was settling in for a long wait for a brief interview, and a group of Tibetan devotees, dressed in their best, were preparing for their audience. The Dalai Lama's personal staff were nervous. If things started running late, they knew how quickly the queue for his attention would build up. For a man who, in his 64th year, is one of the world's more celebrated displaced persons, it was an average set of visitors to this hillside Indian town. In March 1959, when the Dalai Lama and nearly 100,000 of his fellow countrymen fled ...

The complete text of “Children of a Lhasa God” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.guardian.co.uk.

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