Toronto Book Launch

I would like to thank my TNC colleagues Kalsang Phuntsok la, Tenpa Gashi la and others for organizing my public talk “Forging a Rangzen Strategy” last Saturday at Toronto, and Lobsang Wangkhang la for introducing me to the audience. I must also thank Christophe la for the poster design. The hundred and twenty or so Toronto Tibetans who gave up their up their weekend holiday and patiently listened to what I had to say must be thanked for their public spirit. Their many questions and comments (and also from those on-line) are much appreciated.

Just before the talk a book launch was held for the newly revised edition of The Four Loves of Phari, the autobiography of the late Tsering Dorje Gashi, my old friend and fellow political-writer. His son Tenpa la had worked for a number of years on this publication and it was my honor to carry out the formalities for its release. I had also made another small contribution earlier in the form of a blurb which I have reproduced below.


Gashi Tsering Dorje-la and I were political kindred-spirits from the mid 1970s through the 80s. I was then contributing political commentaries to the Tibetan Review that were mostly directed at exposing the limits of Deng’s Liberalization policy and the naïveté of Dharamshala’s hopes for negotiations with Beijing. The only other Tibetan (besides the editor of the Tibetan Review) writing regularly on such issues was Tsering Dorje-la.  He shared my concerns about China’s duplicity and Tibetan gullibility, but he was much more effective in getting his message out to the Tibetan public. First of all he wrote in Tibetan and published in a variety of Tibetan language journals and papers. He was also better informed. He had studied in Beijing at the Minorities Institute from 1956 to 1961, and even knew some of those underground student leaders, Gyangtse Nyetho Jigme, Thangmey Kesang Diki, Zomphu Jampa Phuntsok and others who had spoken out for Tibetan independence and paid the price.

This new and updated edition of his autobiography first published in 1977 is of tremendous importance for a new generation of Tibetans who have little idea of the “struggles”, mass campaigns, political upheavals, famine and violence that Tibet underwent during that period and which Tse Dorje la personally experienced and recorded so vividly and honestly. A number of his political articles had been included in this volume and will certainly add to its value and reading-pleasure.

– Jamyang Norbu, author of Mandala of Sherlock Holmes, Shadow Tibet, Warriors of Tibet, etc.,



16 Replies to “Toronto Book Launch”

  1. I knew Tsering Dorje Gashi la as well as a man who never knew him at all. I actually met him once, briefly, in my prepubescent phase. In that brief encounter, the gentleman had managed to leave a strong impression of himself somewhere in my cerebral cortex. To this day, I can still clearly recall this rather dapper looking, soft spoken don with kindly, intelligent eyes and an urbane mannerism of a career librarian. I think he was laconic but not aloof, my gut tells me he might have been a bit of an introvert, or I could be projecting now.

    Anyway, later on in life, I learned what an erudite individual he was, fluent in both Tibetan and Chinese, written and spoken languages.

    There are so many things I am sorry about in my life and one is the lost opportunity to engage with a rare lay Tibetan intellectual like Tsering Dorje Gashi la. He is gone now, just like one day I too will go like good angels to my end, but for now, part of him lives in me, in my memory; in others memories too I am certain.

    I do not believe in libations, I have no other way to offer tribute to this great man, all I can do is remember him fondly.

  2. Jamyang la, thank you for gracing Toronto with your powerful words of wisdom. TNC Canada was honored by your presence. I would also like to thank you on behalf of my family for helping us launch my Dad’s book and for your kind words about my father. This book was our way to honor his memories and share it with our fellow Tibetans and friends. For me, he remains a formidable force in my life and I try to govern my life in his footsteps, as best as I could. Thank you once again.

  3. I hope to read the book someday.

    As Charles Dicken wrote : He lived ” in the best of times and the worst of times.”

    The worst of times, when over a millions of Tibetans faced death, starvation and forced labor camps and face exiles.

    It was best of times, because despite all this, the patriots who refused to give up and fought for the honor of one’s nation were respected for what they stand: as true heroes.

    Look at the change of times. Look at the people calling shots in the name of Tibet today. The turn coats are now being considered ‘hero’ and true patriots – traitors!

    Finding a diplomatic solution, anyone can understand. Total sell out is unacceptable. ( We do not demand democracy for Tibetans. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected political leader of Tibetan exiles crowed at the prestigious forum in USA. Is he trying to win a Nobel Prize or what ? 16 years old Malal from Pakistan speaks better than him! This is aside.

    I salute your father and millions of others who gave their lives or lived their life in the service of Tibetan nation in one form or other. True patriot never dies.

    We struggle not to serve the ambition of the few ( read: Sikyong Lobsang Sangay wanting to be Obama of China) but to protect the interest of all.( all the Tibetans, including our muslim brethren)

  4. US Vice President is currently on visit to china. I thought this was in interesting remark. He told Chinese that they should challenge government and CHALLENGE RELIGIOUS LEADER.

    What do u guys think.? Any comment. For me it says a lot , and was encouraging to hear from leaders who preach and practice democracy.


    yeah, true, HHDL now have a thriving happiness, by calling him by US vice president he is China religious leader!!!!

    please, HHDL, if you like China that much, then go to live in beijing, and spread Dharma to your beloved Chinese

  6. Pema lhamo,
    This is not recognising who the religious leader is? It is about questioning. That upis what Vice President Biden is referring to. In a nutshell, he says, criticize their actions, speech and their policy. Without no freshness there will be always doomsday.



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    I will have one very soon at a tibetan store.


    I will have somebody there very soon too.


    Same story, will have somebody there soon.

  8. helllo norbula
    my name is kalsang and i really appreciate you dedication toward tibetan course and struggle. i always read your article and when ever i read your article i really feel uncomfortable bez you are always against what we are doing now and specially many of your article always against the his holiness dalai lama. so i have few suggestion regarding your shameless behaviour and wrong ideology.
    you always talk about the democracy and freedom. i truly support what your words , but i really feel that if your really found serious problem in your society then come here dharamsala and do more practical rather then writing useless words in blog, you know it writing useless words in blog is not a big deal.
    democracy have freedom to express your thought and experience but it have also some duty. i know now a day many people never think about duty of democracy, i can understand you are one of them .
    many of your article is like fairy tell , which contain lot of comparison and you talk about some many things which is not exit in this world ,i now only innocent children like it .
    plz when every you compare any international issue with tibetan struggle, plz think carefully ok you know your blog is like tissue paper is may goes anywhere. i know you mom may told you that useless paper are always need to put in dustbin. if you forgot then i will remind you lo . “put your useless paper in dustbin ”
    stop writing such a article
    do some productive work ok
    or take some relaxe it more productive

  9. Hello Kal,

    If you know how Sikyong paid of his mortgage then give the explanation. If not, dont try to change the topic. If there is nothing to hide, better to come clean and give clarification.otherwise, people will always have doubt about where the money come from.

  10. Dear Kal,
    your comment would be more convincing if you mention the name of the article or book and the chapter or a video where Mr. Jamyang la has gone against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. May be i haven’t read one of those. or may be i haven’t find anything offensive. Also please don’t say “you are always against” and “many of your article always against the his holiness dalai lama” as i have not find it that way. Like i said before, if you find any offensive terms used against His Holiness The Dalai Lama, then please be more specific and point out the source.

    Far from being useless as you mentioned, i find his articles very educational. He collects bits and pieces of evidence from all over the world and compiles it together in a impressive way. I can’t imagine how long it would take me if i have to go to library and other sources to get to know all about these.

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