Tribute to Desung Kalon Dongchung Ngodup: by Chung Tsering
[Saturday, April 09, 2016 22:13]
By Chung Tsering (Retrieved from Tibet times)

(Translated by Kelsang Tsering, Toronto)


At first when I saw the official announcement of Desung Kalon’s resignation, I couldn’t believe the news. But as I saw it on Voice of Tibet (VoT) –media based in Dharamsala- interviewing Desung Kalon Dongchung Ngodup la, it reaffirmed me of the details about his resignation and also the reasons for his resignation. The following piece is only a tribute –with no other intention- to Kalon Dongchung Ngodup la for sacrificing the best part of his life in service to the Central Tibetan Administration during the most critical period and ordeal of Tibetan diaspora.

The first time when I heard about Dongchung Ngodup la was when I was in Tibet. It was prior to our (me and my brother, Lobsang Lungtok’s) departure to India, when we visited a pivotal Tibetan who works for the cause of Tibet. We told him about our soon-to- departure to India. Instantly he told us to deliver some classified information to Dongchung Ngodup. Shortly after we reached India, we visited Department of security to provide the classified information. I vividly recall that it was at the end of year 1999. DongchungNgodup la was then, in his office which is adorned and decorated with the portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan national flag and a political map of Tibet. It was then, indeed an honour, a pleasure and a pride for the first time to meet a significant Tibetan official in such a conducive environment. He told us to be seated and listened carefully and diligently to our statements. Besides, he also noted and scribbled our information in a notepad which was very encouraging.

Since my graduation in 1994, I began serving as a Tibetan civil servant in the Central Tibetan Administration until 2014. As other civil servants, I had a privilege to get familiar with Dongchung Ngodup la. But the more I got familiar with him, the more respect and trust I had for him. Since I was not an employee in the Department of Security, I did not have the opportunity to work with him on a day-day-day routine. Nor have I had the opportunity to know him very well by developing a personal friendship. However observing by how he successfully maintain his administrative duties, how he serves as an efficient Tibetan civil servant and the way he shows resilience on timely hours are highly admirable on which my other younger peers and colleagues had similar impression.

Some of the main reasons why many people have respect for Dongchung Ngodup la is because of his firm and rock-solid principle, noble stance and gentle personality. His personal stance is grounded on following the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama after thorough research and analysis and holding unwavering belief onto it. His personality is defined by his reliability, his nature as a man of few words, inquisitiveness to all matters and his unbiased attitudes towards others irrespective of class (high or low). Moreover, owing to his reliability to conceal the state secrets or classified information of Department of security, he was trusted and respected not only by the exile Tibetans, but also by many inside Tibet.

In the Tibetan diaspora, there are many people who speak beautifully but just the theory, yet there are very few who steadfastly and resiliently come forward to act practically. However, Dongchung Ngodup la is one of the few who selflessly and courageously come forward to combat any obstacle that needs to be combatted. For instance, he heroically came forward to challenge any anti-social elements who made baseless and groundless accusation and criticism including Shugden proponents against the central Tibetan administration. The above evidence was clear fact noticed by many Tibetans.

In addition, he served the central Tibetan administration from 1977 to 2007, initially starting from scratch as a senior clerk and then gradually escalating to the post of secretary of Department of Security. He started serving as a minister (Kalon) for the same department for more than ten years, which, all in all, made 40 years of selfless and dedicated service -sacrificing the best part of his life- during the critical period of Tibetan diaspora. In early 1980’s, he even visited Tibet -covertly and secretly- to observe the situation and report it to the exile administration. He also acted as a bridge between the Tibetans living inside and outside Tibet. He is also generally a keen observant to the situations inside Tibet. In nutshell, he is empirically learned and experienced to the situation both inside and outside Tibet.


Dongchung Ngodup la is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but also very responsible, accountable and trustworthy person particularly with reference to the safety and security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During his tenures both secretary and minister of Department of security -when His Holiness’s visits (both in India and abroad) was most- there hardly had been a case where His Holiness’s safety and security had been compromised. Besides there was no evidence of causing distress and inconvenience to both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people at large.

His charisma is defined by treating all Tibetans and not getting influenced by regionalism and sectarian values. He also listens impartially, respectfully and diligently to other’s grievance without ever belittling the opinions of others. In the event of misfortunes, he acts steadfastly and immediately without recklessness and apprehension and he also provides timely guidance.

Lately due to the speech from His Holiness the Dalai Lama ( Mentseekhang’s Centenary celecrations) and deities on the mismanagement on the part of the Central Tibetan Administration, and also voicing their concern on the risk of creating disharmony within the Tibetan community, DongchungNgodup la, on moral and ethical grounds, resigned from the post of Kalon. It is also clear that his resignation was in the interest of the Tibetan community and not for his personal interest or gain because the time of his resignation –which is not before the election but after thorough conclusion of Tibetan parliament session- explains everything. Finally, I express my sincere wishes for his sound health wherever he goes and may he continue to work for the cause of Tibet.


Translator’s note: The translator wishes the readers to refer to the original piece (which is in Tibetan) by the author “Chung Tsering” for accuracy and authenticity, in the event of doubt and hesitation.



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