'First Tibetan Passport Recovered From Nepal'
(Dharamshala | March 31, 2004)
'Dharamshala': With a great sense of achievement and elation,
Friends of Tibet (INDIA) releases the information that the passport
used by former Chief of the Finance Department of the Government
of Tibet, Tsepon Shakabpa Wangchuk Dedhen during independent Tibet,
has been recovered after many years of its missing, and now safely
presented to His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama on March 29, 2004. The
passport had received recognition from about seven countries in 1948
when the Tibetan Minister travelled abroad. For the past 15 years,
after the death of the Shakabpa on February 23, 1989 in Kalimpong,
the historical document fell in the hands of antique dealers in Nepal.
Friends of Tibet (INDIA) has been working over the past one year
towards a Tibet exhibition called "STORY OF A NATION: Independent,
Occupied and Exiled Tibet". In our efforts to gather the incredible
story of this nation, we have been able to bring together some
amazing old photographs and objects of historical importance
belonging to Independent Tibet. So far, we have been able to collect
more than 60 photographs and objects.
Besides, coins and paper currencies, postage stamps and a gun
from independent Tibet, we came across the historic passport
used by Tsepon Shakabpa Wangchuk Dedhen, the Chief of the Finance
Department of the Government of Tibet and also the writer of the
famous history book "Tibet: A Political History". In 1948, the
Tibetan Government sent a trade delegation to China, United States
of America, England and other countries. The passport issued by
the then Tibetan Government to Shakabpa had received recognition,
and upon that more than seven countries had granted visas and
Recently, Friends of Tibet (INDIA) through one of its advisors
Gyeshe Pema Dorjee la (former Head of Sarah Institute of Buddhist
Dialectics) discovered it lying in the hands of an antique dealer
in Nepal. Understanding the absolute importance of the document in
itself and also the need of it to the exhibition, through Mr. Kongpo
Dhondup la, newly elected Settlement Officer of Boudha-Jorpatan
Tibetan Refugee Camp, Nepal Friends of Tibet (INDIA) expressed its
wishes to purchase it.
On March 29, 2004 (Monday), Tenzin Tsundue (General Secretary,
Friends of Tibet INDIA) and Gyeshe Pema Dorjee la presented the
document to Tenzin Gyeche la, the Private Secretary to His Holiness
the Dalai Lama at his office and later presented it to His Holiness
the Dalai Lama who was very much pleased with the new find —
thus ending the 15 years of the missing document of Tibet!
(General Secretary, Friends of Tibet INDIA)
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
'First Tibetan Passport Found in Nepal'
(by Baldev S Chauhan | The Hindu | April 2, 2004)
'First Tibetan Passport Found After 15 Years'
(by Pawan Sharma | Hindustan Times | April 2, 2004)
Press Release issued by Friends of Tibet (INDIA) on March 31,
2004 about the recovery of the Tibetan Passport used by Tsepon Shakabpa.