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Gyalo Thondup

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Title: Gyalo Thondup  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 14th Dalai Lama, CIA Tibetan program, Kashag, Protests and uprisings in Tibet since 1950, Pandatsang Rapga
Collection: 1928 Births, Living People, Prime Ministers of Tibet, Tibetan Politicians
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gyalo Thondup

Gyalo Thondup

Gyalo Thondup (Tibetan: རྒྱལ་ལོ་དོན་འགྲུབ, Wylie : rgyal lo don 'grub, born 1928) is a Tibetan politician. He is the second-eldest brother of the 14th Dalai Lama and often acted as the Dalai Lama's unofficial envoy.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Criticism 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4


As early as 1951, Thondup established an intelligence operation with the CIA, which was later upgraded into a CIA-trained guerrilla unit whose recruits parachuted back into Tibet.[2]

By the time Nixon came to the White House, the CIA had already informed Thundrop that they were terminating support. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Thondup criticized the Americans for establishing the CIA Tibetan program just to "make trouble for China":

In the 1990s, Thondup made several official visits to China, acting as the Dalai Lama's unofficial envoy.[1] In recent years, Thondup has repeatedly stated that dialogue is the only way to achieve progress with China.[4]


According to Barry Sautman, throughout his entire political career, Thondup maintained close links with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).[5]

In 1998, the Central Tibetan Administration criticized Thondup for not letting the Dalai Lama know about the CIA's involvement in Tibet. A Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration said:

Personal life

Gyalo Thondup speaks fluent English and Mandarin Chinese, and was married to a Chinese citizen[7] who died in India.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ On the CIA's links to the Dalai Lama and his family and entourage, see Loren Coleman, Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti (London: Faber and Faber, 1989).
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
Political offices
Preceded by
Kalsang Yeshi
Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration
Succeeded by
Tenzin Tethong
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