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Readers' Comments on "Obituary - ‘George’ Dundul Namgyal Tsarong"
‘George’ Dundul Namgyal Tsarong, 91, died 3:30 pm, June 18th 2011 in a hospital in Dehra Dun, India. Dundul Namgyal was born in 1920 in Lhasa as the eldest son of DASANG DAMDUL TSARONG, the commander-in-chief of the Tibetan army....
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Location: Canada
Jun 27 2011 08:18 PM

It was without a doubt that my late “uncle” George Tsarong was pretty far sighted and several steps ahead of the game so to speak, considering the fact that we Tibetans were emerging out of middle ages cocoon and landing head first into the abyss of the 20th century. The early sixties was a most stressful and hectic time for Tibetan escaping out of Tibet with barely the clothes on their backs, but Kungno Tsarong had seen what was in store for Tibet and had prepared himself before Lhasa fell to the Chinese army. However, instead of packing his family and leaving for a distant land to escape from all the chaos around him, he chose to stay and help the government and the people.

I claim no blood relation to the great man except by association as a part-time adopted child. A little known fact about his contribution, other than his greater works, was he visited the “Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children” in Dharamsala in 1960 and sponsored two children a boy and a girl and assisted with their admission into the prestigious English medium school, known as Dr. Graham’s homes. And fortunately for me, I happened to be one of the lucky children.

For several years since being admitted to Dr. Graham’s homes school, I did not have any contact with his family but between 1965 to about 1968 winter, the other child, Nima Chodon and I were regular part of the Tsarong family. Summer holidays were spent at his mansion in Kalimpong and winter holidays in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). The most memorable times I can recall during my stay in Calcutta were the times I spent with his son Paljor. My closes link to Kungno Tsarong was through Paljor la, as he was the youngest child and regularly stayed home for his holidays.

It was through Paljor la, that I learned that Kungno Tsarong had a great fondness for football and other games, which I now learned had morphed into his love for cricket. “Uncle” was not a very gregarious man, he was soft spoken and not once in my entire time with his family did I hear a raised voice or show of anger. I was not particularly close, considering the fact that he was a very busy man and hardly had time even for his own family. However, when he did have some time off from his busy schedule, in the evenings after his day at the office, he would occasionally play his harmonica and tap dance to old familiar tunes. Those were happy times and he was without a doubt most musically inclined.

Alas, his name may not be listed among the roster of Tibetan heroes, like his father before him yet, the thankless tasks that he has performed for Tibet are no mean feats. And for what he has done for me I thank him sincerely from the bottom of my heart. With his status and influence and five children to boot he did not have to add to his burden. It was just something he did in his gentle and unassuming way, without after or forethought of the consequences.

As an afterthought, I wonder if he ever said to himself, “was it worth it?” Whatever the case may be, I am sure there are many who are thankful and appreciative of all his efforts. I know for a fact that I am. And like the British character from the novelist, John Le Carr’e stories, Dandul Namgyal Tsarong has finally come in from the cold.

Farewell dear Uncle, Godspeed and May you bathed in golden light of Buddha’s compassion! And to the rest of the family, I offer my deepest heartfelt condolences. We have one life to live and I was honoured to have been a tiny part of his wonderful life. Thank you!

Location: CT, USA
Subject: Great lose!!!!
Jun 23 2011 03:29 AM

Very sad and sorry to hear the news. One of the unsung heroes of Tibet.

I pray for his soul. I send condolences to his family members.

God bless 'Georg'.

Karma S. Rakagme
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