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His Holiness the Dalai Lama gazes at devotees as he visits the Mahabodhi temple near the Kalachakra venue, a day after the conclusion of 34th Kalachakra. Jan. 15, 2016 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
Three weeks after Indian PM announced Demonetization of 500 and 1000 notes residents including Tibetans queue outside State Bank of India and on-site ATMs to withdraw daily limit of 2000 Rs per account, Dharamshala, Nov. 28, 2016, Phayul Photo
'Unity is Strength,' says one of the formations of the calisthenic display by children of TCV on its 56th anniversary, Oct. 23, 2016. 17th Gyalwang Karmapa attended the celebrations as the Chief Guest/Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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THE LAST JOURNEY OF A GREAT TIBETAN SOLDIER
By Email[Sunday, February 14, 2016 00:55]
By Vijay Kranti


photo:Vijay Kranti
photo:Vijay Kranti
The sun finally went down on one more brave Tibetan. It was a very touching moment when the last remains of great Tibetan freedom fighter and Indian Armyman RATUK NGAWANG were consigned to flames yesterday ((13th Feb 2016) at Nigambodh Ghat in Delhi. He passed away very peacefully on 7th Feb at around 5.30 pm at his home in Majnu Ka Tila Tibetan settlement in Delhi.

Late Ratu Ngawang was the Political Officer in the ''22-Establishment' of Indian Army during its most glorious days when Indian Army liberated East Pakistan from the slavery of West Pakistan in 1971. He worked very closely under the command of my (late) friend Major Genral S.S. Uban in this special successful operation which finally ended in the liberation and establishment of Bangla Desh. Before joining '22' he participated in the anti-Chinese guerrilla war as a senior leader of 'Chu Shi Gang Druk'. He played an important role in protecting HH the Dalai Lama in his exle flight to India from Lhasa in March 1959.

At Nigam Bodh Ghat this brave soldier was presented last honours by his fellow serving soldiers of '22' (VIKAS). Following his body being wrapped in the Tibetan national flag, the '22' boys wrapped him further under the Indian national flag during the last stage of his final journey. I am sure if the Bangla Desh High Commission in New Delhi were informed in time, Ratuk la would have had the extraordinary privilege of being draped in three national flags.

In his last journey he was joined by some prominent Tibetan social personalities of Delhi besides his close family members and representatives of Tibetan organizations like Tibetan Youth Congress, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), Tibetan Women's Association and Tibetan National Congress. It is strange that the only representative from the Government (exile) of Tibet was an officer from its Security Department. The Kashag (Cabinet), the Parliament (Chitue) and the Private Office of HH the Dalai Lama were conspicuous by their absence. However, Ms. Dolma Gyari, the Kalon (minister) for Home Affairs made a personal visit to the family to offer her personal condolence.

Ratuk la was cremated in traditional Buddhist way, almost identical to the prevailing Hindu style of consigning the mortal remains to fire. His son offered the fire and his wife, a former paratrooper and a fellow soldier of Ratuk la accepted the Tibetan and India flags from the soldiers just before the body was given last rest on the wood for cremation. It was a satisfying coincidence for the family that almost all members of his family were around him until his last moment.

As I pray for this great son of Tibet, I wish Tibet is blessed by many more such worthy sons who help her in winning back her lost freedom and independence.


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