I am posting here a fascinating report sent Har Mander Singh, the Political Officer (PO) of the Kameng Frontier Division (FD) to K.L. Mehta, the Adviser to the Governor of Assam on April 16, 1959. Mehta, Har Mander’s boss posted in Shillong, was looking over the entire NEFA. As the PO of Kameng FD, Har Mander Singh was responsible to receive the Dalai Lama in March/Avril 1959, when the Tibetan leader and his party sought refuge in India. The Tibetan leader crossed the Indian border on March 31, 1959 at Khenzimane/Chuthangmu where he was received by T.S. Murthy, the Assistant PO in Tawang. Har Mander Singh came later and met the Dalai Lama at Lumla, a few days march from Tawang. This is the final report sent by the Political Officer before the Dalai Lama proceed to the plains of Assam and Mussorie, his first residence in India. Nehru’s special envoy, P.N. Menon (father of former Foreign Secretary and NSA, Shivshankar Menon) came to meet the Dalai Lama is Bomdi La with a message from the Indian Prime Minister. P.N. Menon had earlier been posted as Consul General of India in Lhasa (1954-1956).
Here is the Report:
NORTH EAST FRONTIER AGENCY
Bomdi La, April 16, 1959
D.O. No. CON.56
My dear Shri Mehta,
This is possibly my final despatch on the entry of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in this [Kameng] Division.
His Holiness left Tawang on the 8th April, 1959, halted at Jang on the 8th April, Sengedzong [Senge Dzong] on the 9th April, Dirang Dzong on the 10th April, Rahung on the 11th April and reached Bomdi La on the 12th as already reported. People in very large numbers gathered along the route to see him throughout the journey. He held blessing ceremonies in almost every village where he stopped during his trek.
On the 10th April, while travelling between Sengedzong and Dirang Dzong His Holiness mentioned that as a rule he did not listen in to the Lhasa Radio but had done so the previous evening and had learnt that the Chinese had set up a new enlarged Preparatory Committee under the Chairmanship of the Panchen Lama with four Vice-Presidents. They were Gen Chang Kuo Hwa [Zhang Guohua], one of the two Shapes [Ministers] (in-charge of Armed Forces) left behind in Lhasa and two incarnate Lamas. The second Shape [Ngapo Ngawang Jigme] had been included in the Preparatory Committee. The Panchen Lama had issued a statement condemning the rebel Forces and stating that those who indulged in rebel activities should be severely dealt with.
I noticed that from the time he listened in to this broadcast, the attitude of the Dalai Lama towards the question of giving asylum to the Tibetans seeking entry in India underwent a change. Heretofore, he seemed to be of the view that the Government of India should be liberal in giving asylum to the Tibetan officials and members of the rebel Forces fleeing the Chinese. After listening in to this particular broadcast the Dalai Lama seemed to have formed the view that the Government of and the rebel Forces should stay on in Tibet to fight the Chinese and agitate against the Preparatory Committee set up under the Panchen Lama and that they should seek asylum in India in those rare and extreme cases where they felt convinced of being persecuted.
The same day His Holiness happened to ask me about policies of the various political parties of India to which I gave non-committal replies.[Source]