Ratu Ngawang passes away at 90

Ratu Ngawang at his residence in February 2015.

Ratu Ngawang at his residence in February 2015. File photo/Tibet Sun

Tibet Sun Onlinenews

ON THE WEB, 8 February 2016

Ratu Ngawang passed away aged 90 of a heart attack at his residence in Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi on Sunday. He was a former commander in the Chushi Gangdruk, the Tibetan resistance army that fought the People’s Liberation Army from the 50s through the early 70s.

He was also known for his role as the chief of security in escorting the Dalai Lama to safety in India in 1959 as Chinese soldiers pursued him in March that year.

Ratu Ngawang was born in Lithang in 1926. He was a monk at the Lithang monastery before he joined the Chushi Gangdruk.

Following his escape to India, he was made second in command of the Special Frontier Force (SFF), also known by the name “Establishment 22”. Formed in 1962, it was the Tibetan guerrilla force within the Indian army, but officially it does not exist.

Ratu Ngawang was among the Tibetan guerrillas who fought in East Pakistan during the 1971 India-Pakistan War. The Tibetan solders brought victory to India, and helped in the creation of the new country of Bangladesh. The sacrifice of the Tibetans has never been officially or publicly recognised by India or Bangladesh.

Ratu Ngawang is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters, and two granddaughters.

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