Dear Editor,Recently there has been much talk about the issue of gay rights and the decriminalisation of same-sex relations in Guyana. Many of these arguments, however, do not provide a single substantive basis for gay rights. The reason for this is that the pro-LGBT position lacks robust philosophical arguments to support it. The following explains why:Contrary to what they may want us to believe, the claims of the LGBT activists are philosophically inconsistent and filled with internal contradictions. These activists never acknowledge the internal contradictions.If one should listen to them carefully, they opportunistically depend on whatever claim works best for them at the moment. At the heart of the LGBT movement is the radical idea about the human person: people are who they claim to be, regardless of evidence to the contrary. And so the argument is an ontological assertion that a person is the gender identity they claim to be. That’s their claim; that’s their metaphysics.Yet they do not admit that this is a metaphysical claim because they want to avoid the debate on the philosophical level. What they do is dress up their argument with all sorts of pseudo-scientific and medical assertions.They argue that a person can have, as the American Psychological Association puts it, a “gender identity, gender expression, or behaviour that does not confirm to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth”. Please note the political language used here: a person’s sex is “assigned at birth.”This phrase is favoured because it allows for one’s gender identity to be the real basis of a person’s sex. Thus Dr Deanna Adkins – a professor at Duke University School of Medicine and Director of the Duke Centre for Child and Adolescent Gender Care – can state, in an expert declaration to a federal district court in North Carolina concerning the HB2 law, that “the appropriate determinant of sex is gender identity.”This is a very remarkable statement, because she argues that gender identity is, not only the preferred basis for determining sex, but the “only medically supported determinant of sex.” This method, according to Adkins, “is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for the purposes of classifying someone as male or female.” What she is saying here is that biological sex is a social construct and gender identity is reality. And what is gender identity? The American Psychological Association defines it as “a person’s sense of being male, female, or something else.” Thus they assert that gender is not restricted to the binary identity of male or female: a person may be one, both, or neither.Editor, this is where their position becomes philosophically inconsistent and contradictory. On one hand, they embrace a materialist philosophy, while on the other they claim that the real self is something other than the physical body. They say that gender – the maleness or femaleness of a person – is a social construct while asserting that a person is somehow “trapped” or “was born” in the wrong body, with the wrong gender.They say that truth is whatever someone wishes to define it and that people are free to do whatever they want to (thus promoting a radical expressive individualism), and yet they assert that there is a real person to be discovered inside of us and they are calling for everyone to accept their ideology. They want us to acknowledge that this is who they are and give them the right to live their real lives.Is one’s gender determined biologically in the womb? And is gender binary or not? If it is not, how is it defined? If it is “fluid”, why is it different from biological gender and expressed on a spectrum? What does it mean to have an “internal sense of gender”? What is this “internal sense” and how do one know they have it? What does being male, female, both, or neither feel like apart from the physical body? Furthermore, how can these feelings make someone a man, or a woman, both, or even neither?The challenge for LGBT activists is to explain what these feelings are, and if they can adequately explain what they are, they need to explain how they arrived at that. Yet I believe the tougher challenge for the LGBT activists is, why do our feelings determine the reality of our gender and not anything else? Can my feelings determine my race, or height, or age? If persons whose identity makes them the gender they identify, why doesn’t this apply to other characteristics or attributes of being? Why can’t someone identify as another species, say a horse or a dog? These are the inconsistencies they need to acknowledge and explain.Editor, the LGBT activists in Guyana want the authority of science and the state to be on their side as they make metaphysical claims. I am challenging them and anyone who supports their position to articulate some conception of truth as the basis for how we understand the common good and how our society should be order. Until they are able to do so, I advocate for the legislation prohibiting same-sex relations to remain in Guyana.Sincerely,Ronald N EmanuelUniversity of theSouthern CaribbeanTrinidad
Retinablastoma diagnosisThe Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) has donated $300,000 to the mother of three-year-old Chrystal John, who was diagnosed with Retinablastoma (cancer of the retina of the eye). This is to assist with medical expenses.John, of Amelia’s Ward, Mackenzie, Linden, is presently in Cuba undergoing a lifesaving surgery. However, her family were able to secure only half of the money to cover expenses. Councillors Eleze Benjamin and Rawle on Friday handed over the cheque to John’s mother, LaShawn Daniels, in the presence of outgoing Mayor Carwyn Holland.Young John left Guyana on Tuesday, but her family is still seeking to raise moreCouncillors Eleze Benjamin and Rawle handing over the cheque to John’s mother, LaShawn Danielsfunds to offset expenses, since the initial target was not met. The family had initially sought to secure US$10,000, which included the cost for treatment, accommodation, transportation and other costs. A number of organisations, including the Giving Hope Foundation- Guyana and the Sar & B Nonprofit Foundation, have since been on the quest to assist the family in raising the fee with the help of the public.Crystal John was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease when she was just eight months old, resulting in the removal of one of her eyes. The disease has spread to her other eye, resulting in her being unable to see. In an effort to save her life and prevent further spread of the disease, her remaining eye had to be removed. Donations to help the toddler can be made via Citizen’s Bank Account # 219-002-772 and GBTI Account # 001062730013. A GoFundMe account has also been set up at GoFundMe:https://www.gofundme.com/crystals-johns-treatment.Her parents can be contacted on telephone numbers (592) 690 -0866, (592) 670-4337 or (592) 687-7171.
City Mall attempted murder, robberyThe trial of defendants Marisco George and John Caesar, who are accused of attempting to murder Dhanmatee Phulchand in the course of a violent robbery committed at Reshma’s Collection Store in the City Mall in Georgetown, continued on Wednesday before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the High Court.The woman took the stand before the 12-member all-male jury and recalled that, prior to being attacked on July 4, 2009, she had seen George, the number one accused, engaged in ‘passa-passa’ dancing at the City Mall.Phulchand said that at 17:15h on July 4, 2009, George went to her store and indicated that she wanted to purchase a pair of jeans, but George subsequently told her that she would get a friend to help her select the jeans. The friend she brought, according to Phulchand, was Caesar, the number two accused, who had worked in a store at the very mall.Her establishment being on the first floor, Phulchand said she asked Caesar if the store he had worked at had closed down, and he responded in the affirmative, informing her that he was now working as a chef. Phulchand added that Caesar left his number for her to contact him if she ever needed his services as a chef.Phulchand further related that after George had tried on the jeans, she requested a bigger size. Phulchand said she bent down to get the requested item, then she felt a heavy object hit her over the head, and she fell on her knees.“I looked up and saw him (Caesar) over me, hitting me constantly with a heavy object in his hand. I fell flat and tell he, ‘Take whatever you want, I have a small child, one-and-a-half,’ and he say, ‘Shut you [expletive] mouth and stay on the ground’,” Phulchand recalled.She said George put one foot on her neck while Caesar continued beating her, and some of her front teeth were knocked out. At that point in great emotion, she showed the jury her dentures. She said she lost consciousness, and when she awoke, she felt her pockets and found that her mobile phone was missing. She also checked her bag, and there was nothing inside.The witness disclosed that her bag has contained US$2000, which she had obtained from a transaction at a Cambio in the city, and Gy$100,000 which she had garnered from sales up to 13:00h on the day of the attack.She said she screamed and alerted persons in the mall, who then assisted her to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC).The businesswoman also told the jury that her store did not have surveillance cameras.Under cross-examination by George’s attorney Damien DaSilva, the businesswoman denied suggestions that her memory is no longer good. This came after she said in her evidence-in-chief that her memory was affected and that she had a hole in her head.The woman’s husband, Seeram Pulchand, and nearby store seller Nishalla Brown, also testified before the jury.Seeram said he had left Gy $400,000 with his wife to convert to US dollars. He said that when he saw his wife’s store, there were blood stains all over. After a conversation with a Police rank, he travelled to the Georgetown Hospital, where he saw his wife with what looked like chops to the head. He said his wife changed the money into US currency because she travelled often to America.Under cross-examination by attorney DaSilva, Seeram denied that Police had allowed him to thump George in her head. DaSilva suggested that Seeram had also told George he would kill her if his wife died, but Seeram denied this as well.Attorney-at-law Brandon DeSantos and Alana Lall are representing Caesar, while State Counsels Abigail Gibbs and Mandell Moore are prosecuting the case. (Shemuel Fanfair)
0Shares0000FKF president Nick Mwendwa handing over footballs to Nairobi East sub branch for the U13s and 15s development in December 2016. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16- Following a successful outing by the Kenya football U13 team in United Kingdom where they featured in the Southampton Shield Cup, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Technical Director Andres Spier affirmed they will organise more local and international tournaments to give the young talents exposure.Spier, who was in charge of the team, asserted that apart from competing and winning the inaugural Southampton Shield Cup tournament, they have learned a lot in terms of player development and importance of tapping talent at a tender age. ‘’Under 13 Is a golden age of learning and a perfect age to start training players since its in this age bracket that a player can easily develop. From now moving forward we want to constantly have such activities where we organise such tournaments with them (under 13 team) in order to keep them together,” Spier added.Since Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) stopped handing exposure to the U13s and U17s where they used to play in the Norway Super Cup annually, this is the first time FKF has taken the initiative in their bid to form a team that will represent Kenya at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.Among players who benefited from the MYSA initiative is Harambee Stars shot-stopper Arnold Origi who plies his trade in Norway after being scouted from the tournament.Spier believes that it is in providing the young players with international exposure that the national football team Harambee Stars will be at par with world heavy weights in football.“This is a great opportunity for talented players from all over the country to have this kind of exposure as early as possible in their careers. Previously it has only been a select few from the rich academies because they can afford it. Now an open opportunity has been presented,” FKF head of Youth Football, Chris Ammo told Capital Sport in a past interview.FKF had named the 20 man squad in August after receiving an invitation by Southampton earlier in April to field the U13 football team at the tournament. The competition brought together over 40 teams around the world.Southampton seeks to make the tournament a regular fixture in the calendar for youth football club around the world by making the tournament an annual eight day tournament.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes @ManUtd @LCFC @paulpogba run up is hilarious 😂 Good penalty though.— Shaun Goater MBE (@OfficialSGoater) August 10, 2018 Pogba (eventually) slots the penalty away But it felt like years.There were shades of Simone Zaza’s Euro 2016 penalty miss for Italy which has since been immortalised through memes.And despite the spot-kick emphatically finding the top corner, fans on Twitter were totally bemused by what they had just seen: Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade ALTERED possible xi I feel like I aged 10 years during Pogba’s penalty run-up. #MUNLEI— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) August 10, 2018 Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener 1 highlights Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more The only way that run up from Paul Pogba could have been better would have been if he did a front flip.— Jordan Culver (@JordanCulver) August 10, 2018 gameday NEW ERA Pogba with a penalty run-up that you can only do just after winning the World Cup. Spectacular.— Brooks Peck (@BrooksDT) August 10, 2018 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures impact Here’s another look at that run up from Pogba#MUNLEI pic.twitter.com/7BQOgLkRTm— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) August 10, 2018 Thought my Sky Sports was buffering on that Pogba penalty run-up— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) August 10, 2018 possible standings smart causal How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Only Paul Pogba can get away with that.The World Cup winner took a six-second run-up before comfortably converting Manchester United’s second-minute penalty against Leicester. LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play? Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack
South Africa’s astronomy programmes will benefit from the five new astronomy chairs soon to be appointed. (Image: Ska SA) MEDIA CONTACTS Mr Nhlanhla NyideDST, Communications+27 012 843 6793 USEFUL LINKS • Department of Science and Technology • National Research Foundation • Square Kilometre Array RELATED ARTICLES • Ska to reveal universe’s secrets • African eyes on the universe • Science and technologyJanine ErasmusThe Department of Science and Technology (DCT) has allocated US$6.2-million (R50-million) to fund new research chairs, or research professorships, in South Africa during the 2010/11 financial year.Making the announcement in August 2009, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor named 10 new research chairs, adding that there are plans to appoint nine more this year.The appointments fall under the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), a key part of government’s strategy to strengthen the human resource pool in scientific research.The programme is administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the national governmental agency tasked with the promotion and support of basic and applied research, as well as innovation.SARChI, an important component of the NRF’s strategic plan up to 2015, aims to boost the country’s competitiveness in the international knowledge economy, by cultivating both existing and potential strengths.The initiative’s ultimate goal is the creation of 210 new chairs by 2010.Chairs are awarded in one of two tiers. A Tier 1 chair is given to those outstanding academics with exceptional research and student supervision records, and who work to continually improve their performance.A Tier 2 chair is given to emerging researchers who show the potential for rapid development and who also have excellent research and student supervision records.“Our investment will build a larger base of scientific expertise than currently exists, thus enhancing South Africa’s international reputation in research and innovation,” said Pandor. “This, in the long run, will help create jobs, increase economic growth and improve our standard of living.”Boosting scientific researchThe SARChI initiative is already in its third round. The previous two rounds saw the establishment of 72 new chairs – 21 in 2007 and 51 in 2008. Research subjects range from health and wealth in South Africa, and cancer biology, to fundamental physics and string theory, vaccine-preventable diseases, and economic development.Of the 72 chairs, 16 have gone to the private sector or to other countries, including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands.Pandor announced the names of the 10 new appointees before mentioning that another five chairs will be appointed in astronomy, as well as a further four in mathematics.The astronomy chairs are expected to strengthen South Africa’s bid to host the world’s largest telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (Ska), and will attract top class astronomers and engineers to work on Ska and other programmes.The minister named some interesting features regarding the 10 new chairs. Most of them, she said, were in the human and social sciences in the fields of development planning and modelling, development economics, and social change, as well as econometric modelling, statistics, indigenous knowledge systems, and mathematics education.Two of the 10 were supported by the private sector in the form of financial institutions Rand Merchant Bank and the FirstRand Foundation, with a view to encouraging research and development in maths education. Two of the 10 are to be appointed at previously disadvantaged institutions, and one goes to a South African woman currently based in the US.The 10 new professors will assume their duties during the remainder of 2009 or at the start of the 2010 academic year.Boosting research capacityThe NRF has named a number of key objectives for SARChI. Top of the list is an increase in the number of world-class South African researchers.The second objective is to retain or lure top research scientists to the higher education sector. This will help to reverse the decline in research output, capacity and focus at government-funded research and higher education institutions, and science councils.SARChI will also strengthen the capacity of research and higher education institutions, science councils, museums, and other research facilities, such as teaching hospitals, in order to boost the generation of new knowledge.Thirdly, the programme will stimulate strategic research in all fields, resulting in greater levels of excellence in research areas of both national and international importance.Another important function is the creation of research careers for deserving young and mid-career researchers, while at the time addressing racial, gender and age imbalances. Finally, the programme aims to accelerate the training of top researchers.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at email@example.com.
South African couple Konrad and Yolande Giering are part of an international ensemble in the Wonderful World of Disney on Ice. They’re excited to skate in front of local audiences for the first time.Konrad Giering plays the character of Scar in the Wonderful World of Disney on Ice, in South Africa from 30 June 2017, with performances in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. (Image: Showtime Management, Twitter)Compiled by Priya PitamberSouth African husband and wife team Konrad and Yolande Giering are in the international ensemble skating in the Wonderful World of Disney on Ice, coming to the country this winter.SA skaters, Yolande Giering & Konrad Giering on the ice soon in The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice SA Winter tour. #DisneyOnIce pic.twitter.com/g8yUTjA5lw— Deb Publicist (@DebPublicist) June 9, 2017This is the first time the duo will show off their talents to a local audience, which will include their family and friends.“I am excited,” Konrad told news website, IOL. “I have waited all my life to perform in South Africa, and now it’s finally arrived.”Watch:Passion for DisneyLike many children, Konrad grew up watching Disney’s animated movies, which he loved.One particular movie, The Lion King, resonated with the young Konrad because he could identify with the setting.“As a South African, the movie really spoke to me,” he said. “I grew up around wildlife and so naturally I was fascinated by the characters and the storyline.”Now, he gets to play Scar, the young sibling of King Mufasa. Bringing the character to life on ice, he said, was truly a dream come true.Scar was a really cool character, Konrad said, and because he was evil, he got to be aggressive on the ice, which he enjoyed.Yolande plays numerous Disney characters featured in the show.The start of a journey on iceAfter seeing Disney on Ice at Montecasino in Johannesburg a number of years ago, the pair decided to audition. They got the gig in 2009.Yolande said it changed their lives. Not only did they get to skate together, but they also travelled the globe, representing the country as they went.“It’s been a wonderful journey. We are about 40 skaters and 15 crew members that travel the world,” she said. “We have become one big family on tour. We work together, eat together, shop together. We do everything together.”Starting youngBoth Konrad and Yolande started skating when young, at four and seven years old, respectively.Yolande described skating as a lot of fun and encouraged young people to keep practising. “Work hard on your performance skills; that’s most important.”From 2000 to 2004, Konrad was South Africa’s national junior ice skating champion, a title he regained in 2007. He represented South Africa in international competitions such as Four Continents and Junior Worlds.About the showClassic Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy appear in the Wonderful World of Disney on Ice, alongside the new generation including Simba, Timon and Pumbaa.Others from Pixar’s Finding Dory, and Disney’s Tangled also join the show.There will also be performances in Durban for the first time. The venues are:Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, 30 June-9 JulyICC Arena in Durban, 13-16 JulyGrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town, 19-23 JulySource: IOLWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… “We’re selling shovels at the beginning of a gold rush,” is how co-founder Matt Galligan put it on a call today. “You want to add location, just come to us — it’s done.” Though four-person SimpleGeo still measures its age in months, it already has a price sheet: free, $399/month for small businesses and $2,499/month for custom implementations.This sort of business model for this particular market has been forecast for some time. 18 months ago analyst firm ABI Research, for example, made the following prediction:“Location-based mobile social networking revenues will reach $3.3 billion by 2013, but successful business models may differ from what many observers expect,” says ABI Research principal analyst Dominique Bonte. “While location-based advertising integrated with sophisticated algorithms holds a lot of promise, the current reality rather points to licensing and revenue-sharing models as the way forward for social networking start-ups to grow their customer base and reach profitability…”Twitter acquired oft-compared competitor GeoAPI late in 2009 but uptake of Twitter’s location data has been slow. Traditional vendors have also long offered geographic data. Those vendors may fall short of developer expectations if SimpleGeo can deliver things like an effective iPhone SDK, OAuth authentication and dynamic data from sources like Twitter and Flickr.Can SimpleGeo jump to the head of the new location-based parade and capture what’s expected to be a huge market? Adding 1 million location-based objects every hour to its database sounds like a great place to come at that market from. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick Location is going to be big, that seems to be the consensus among geeks, but just how big is it going to be? One metric to wrap your brain around came out over Twitter earlier today. According to SimpleGeo founder Joe Stump, the still-unlaunched but much anticipated service is now indexing more than 1 million location-based objects every hour.That’s going to make for a very rich database that other services can tap into. SimpleGeo has taken $1.5m in angel funding from of Silicon Valley’s biggest-name investors to try and become the go-to geolocation database resource for the next generation of location-aware applications.The company was founded by former Digg Chief Architect Joe Stump and the founder of AOL-acquired Social Thing Matt Galligan. Stump explained his company’s model to VentureBeat late last year:The company told Liz Gannes of Gigaom in November that it received 600 beta applications on its first day after announcing itself publicly. Gannes wrote at the time:“Location-based devices only provide a latitude and a longitude, sometimes an altitude,” he said. “What they don’t provide is a ZIP Code, city, state, county, weather data, messages and photos posted near the site. They don’t provide business listings, Wikipedia entries, census data (for demographics), articles written or posted near the location,” all of which SimpleGeo does. For example, a location-based game set in San Francisco could accurately display its players gleaming in the California sun, or obscured by Golden Gate fog, based on the real-time weather data from around town. Related Posts Tags:#Data Services#news#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…
Tags:#Blockchain#electric cars#IBM#IoT#Microsoft#Smart Cities#Wanxiang How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Donal Power How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Related Posts Another company jumped on the blockchain bandwagon in a big way, with Wanxiang’s $30 billion smart city project. The Chinese electric car maker announced the mega-project at the Global Blockchain Summit.Wanxiang said that it will invest $30 billion in a project that will integrate blockchain technologies with smart city innovations. The project will involve the purchase of 83 million square feet of land in Hangzhou, where Wanxiang is headquartered.Industry pundits predict that blockchain technology could revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT), as it is capable of verifying a device’s every transaction, communication and change.This type of verification will become crucially important in smart cities where increasing numbers of connected devices will begin spouting data from all corners of the urban environment.See also: Outdated thinking on wireless could cripple UK smart cities“We want to use blockchain to manage IoT, and use it help devices to interact with each other,” said Feng Xiao, vice chairman of Wanxiang. “Smart appliances can be managed with blockchain.”In a similar vein, the government of Dubai announced earlier this year that its innovation department will be integrating blockchain into its smart city strategy.How Wanxiang will integrate blockchain with smart city projects is still being formulated, but company representatives are in talks with Microsoft and IBM on future collaboration.The project is expected to develop innovations at the intersection of cars, smart cities and blockchain. One example given was how the cost of electric cars could be reduced by using blockchain to confirm and enforce property rights in urban environments of the future.Wanxiang already launched a blockchain labWanxiang has already proven keen on blockchain technology with its launch of its $50 million Wanxiang Blockchain Labs. As well in $500,000 of ether cryptocurrency was purchased by a Wanxiang subsidiary in 2015.And as part of the project, the company will be actively looking to finance blockchain entrepreneurs who may be developing innovations that will align with Wanxiang’s initiative.“We can’t tackle all the use cases that might arise from the smart city project,” said Feng. “That’s why we’re opening it up to use cases from all over the world.”Wanxiang owns the American electric car manufacturer Karma and is planning to build a $375 million plant for making battery-powered vehicles. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…
Enter the CIADhondup was a member of the only modern insurgent group of Tibet, the Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk (DCG). The DCG was formed on June 16, 1958 in Tibet by a charismatic nobleman, Andrup Gonpo Tashi. For some time the group carried out ambushes against the Chinese forces as Beijing tried to consolidate its gains in Tibet. Dhondup, then in his twenties, was one of the early recruits in this movement and was trained in sabotage and the use of arms.“During the struggle, we used basic weapons like the old rifles that fired one bullet at a time,” he says, explaining that the movement expanded rapidly from the Kham region of Tibet despite shortage of weapons and ammunition.The DCG became known worldwide for being the secret force of the CIA, which sent trainers and equipment to Tibet to support the rebels. Dhondup recalls how the Americans sent high-flying cargo jets into the Tibetan airspace for his group that consisted of 600 volunteers. The war of 1971 was not the first Dhondup and his compatriots in Lama Camp experienced. Their war began 20 years earlier in the 1950s, when they fought a guerrilla battle against the Chinese forces in Tibet supported by weapons and trainers from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which wanted to dislodge China from Tibet.As we catch up with Dhondup, he is soaking in the celebrations of Losar, the Tibetan New Year which began in the last week of February. Losar to the Tibetans means crushed corn which is sprinkled on guests and meant for auspicious occasions, good food, drinks and a time to recollect the past. His kitchen is stocked with savouries and drinks. This is the Year of the Firebird which, like the phoenix, stands for resurrection and the burning away of wasteful deeds. Keeping with the spirit of the new year, Dhondup wants to relive the war of his youth.“We had inadequate weapons and ammunition but we wanted to fight the Chinese who forced us to build roads and bridges,” he says in a mix of Hindi and Tibetan that was interpreted by his son Tsering. The guerrillas fought with .303 rifles of World War II vintage, receiving better weapons only in the later phase.Dhondup and five other veterans are the remaining few from the hundreds of unknown foot soldiers of a liberation war, unlamented and unsung. These former soldiers were of fighting age; in exile now, time is ticking away. Many have passed away. One of their comrades, who rose to run a movie theatre in the neighbourhood, passed away earlier this year. They were the pioneers of a resistance movement that took to violence before the Dalai Lama weaned them away to non-violent means. The last of Tibet’s guerrilla fighters | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar “The war of 1971 was not the first Dhondup and his compatriots experienced”. Dhondup Palden and his wife Sonam at their residence in Lama Camp. One of the key assignments of the DCG was to guard the Dalai Lama as he planned to go into India. A little distance away from Dhondup’s Tezu home lives one of the former DCG fighters who accompanied the Dalai Lama during that momentous journey. “The journey of 1959 was arduous. Yaks and horses were used to cross the snowy mountain. We ensured safety for the Dalai Lama with one group travelling with him and another providing support at Lhasa,” says Zolpa Sibu, the ex-DCG fighter.Sibu is nostalgic about his DCG days. “We did not have the best of weapons to fight. Many of our comrades died in bombing and counter-insurgency operations carried out by the Chinese forces,” he says, recounting that even the force’s founder was brought to India with injuries he sustained in a blast. He remembers how grim the situation in Tibet had become. “We were evicted from our homes. Families broke up — the Chinese employed women and men separately for forced labour projects that would go on for months. Social and religious gatherings became impossible as the police questioned all such gatherings.”The DCG put up a strong resistance, but the end was inevitable. Sibu was arrested but released after months of detention. As was Dhondup. “I was kept in prison for two months and for weeks my hands were tied up,” he says, showing his permanently scarred hands.The DCG’s fighters decided to escape into India through the mountain passes in eastern Arunachal district of Upper Dibang Valley and the western district of Tawang via Bomdila. The journey was difficult; many perished but the likes of Dhondup, Sibu and their families survived the trek.The war for BangladeshSoon after coming into India, these fighters were asked to settle in Tezu but within a year they had to move as India-China hostilities intensified in the run-up to the 1962 war. As the border districts of the North East Frontier Agency, as Arunachal Pradesh was then known, were evacuated, the fighters were resettled in Dibrugarh and Guwahati in Assam. They returned to Tezu after the war ended, and soon found themselves recruited by Indian military officers who had by now realised their potential as trained guerrillas and intelligence-gatherers. “The military instructors tested our firing skills, asked us to take physical fitness tests. Most of us passed the test and joined the Indian military as we were eager to go back to Tibet and fight the Chinese forces again,” says Dhondup.The fighters boarded a train at Guwahati and were taken to Chakrata in Uttarakhand (then in Uttar Pradesh) where a rigorous training programme began to equip them for special military operations. “We were trained to handle mortar fire, automatic weapons, rocket launchers. I was specially recruited into a team of paratroopers in the SFF,” says Dhondup, explaining that the Tibetans were expected to go back into their country for special operations. As first-generation exiles, the men did not always understand the detailed discussions held among Indian military officers, but carried out the assigned duties nevertheless.Havildar Sangey was also among the ex-DCG SFF recruits. He counts himself as lucky, having been taken as part of a three-member group for a special training programme in Europe. “I even trained with some American officials abroad,” he says, reliving his days as a paratrooper.The hostility between India and Pakistan gave the SFF fighters a new chance to test their fighting skills. “During the 1971 war, many of our friends died fighting,” says Dhondup, recounting that the war had left him injured and he was admitted in the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. “Generals and [Prime Minister] Indira Gandhi came to see us in hospital. We got a transistor radio as reward,” he adds, his eyes lighting up as he recounts the heady days.By the time the Bangladesh war ended, most of the soldiers had acquired family and had young kids at home. But newer assignments beckoned, including reconnaissance missions in Ladakh and in the high Himalayas. “We wanted to fight in Tibet because the SFF [training] taught us lot more than we knew in the DCG days, but that fight never came,” rues Sangey. “We had all the necessary advanced weapons. We would not have left Tibet if we had these weapons and training at that time.”Renewed rumble in the east The amphitheatre of much of the 1962 war, the epic face-offs of yesteryear still linger in the air of the Arunachal Himalayas, especially the mountains from Tezu to Anjaw district which were the scene of the bloodbath of Namti where an unknown number of Indian and Chinese soldiers died.Having spent their youth in the midst of guerrilla warfare and tectonic political churn, the elderly denizens of Lama Camp find themselves still engulfed by geopolitics thanks to the evolving importance of the Eastern Himalayas. In recent years, the U.S. and India have begun to work on salvaging the remains of aviators who crashed in the mountains near Tezu during World War II. The discovery of a Chinese citizen in the region in 2010 stirred up matters between India and China. Guang Liang spent months in a prison in Arunachal Pradesh before the Chinese reportedly took him back. In addition, barely a dozen kilometres from the neighbourhood of these former guerrillas is the brand-new easternmost airport of India at Tezu which can also host heavy bombers and cargo carriers. Recent reports about an impending visit by the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh have again stirred up the pioneers of DCG.While the region remains the locus of power games, the exploits of the octogenarians of Lama Camp slowly recedes into oblivion. In the sunset of their lives, they wish to bequeath their saga of resistance in Tibet to posterity. “Most of us did not get a chance to lead a normal life. We were deprived of the education that would have trained us to record and write our experience as soldiers,” says Sibu.The legacy and the futureIn recent years there have been some attempts to recognise their signal contribution. The Central Tibetan Administration has set up offices in Delhi and Dharamsala for addressing the needs of these senior community members. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of DCG in 2008, special commemorative events were organised by the Tibetan community in India to honour them and recognise the armed struggle that they executed against China.Young Tibetans also drop in once in a while to seek blessing of these elders. The Tibetan diaspora has also shown interest in chronicling the story of DCG and a number of websites provide information about the violent movement which faded out with the exile of Tibetans to India. However most of the literature focusses on the CIA’s role in fuelling the war in the Cold War period and is inadequate in recording the narratives of the men who fought the war not just for the CIA but also for India. “Our lives were disrupted. At the time of DCG, we did not foresee our exile and that is why we did not bother to photograph our homes and our struggles,” says Sibu, urging better documentation of the scattered photographs and other records of the movement in Tibet.Despite their advancing years, the DCG fighters do not receive any additional financial support from the Government of India — the SFF gave a comprehensive settlement package, a one-time lump-sum amount at the time of retirement.While the passage of time has dimmed Dhondup, Sibu and Sangay’s hopes of returning to their homeland, the fire still burns. “Even now I dream of fighting in the streets of Tibet with a gun,” says Dhondup. The DCG, incidentally, still exists in exile, espousing an independent Tibet. Dreams don’t die. On December 16, 1971, the India-Pakistan war ended with the liberation of Bangladesh. The war was short — it had raged for all of 13 days — but India had mobilised its entire land forces, including a secretive unit of soldiers from the Special Frontier Force (SFF), a group raised for trans-Himalayan combat. Some of the SFF recruits were not Indians. They were from Tibet and had come into India on forced exile, in waves and participated in the ground battles and the combing operations that followed with minimal knowledge of South Asian languages and the people they encountered. They had hoped that after the war India would send them home to fight the Chinese forces in Tibet as a reward — but that was not to be.Dhondup Palden, now in his 80s, a resident of Lama Camp in Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh, was one of the Tibetans who despite their Buddhist faith took up arms. Sitting at the porch of his home-on-stilts that is painted blue and decorated with Buddhist prayer flags, he reminisces about the war and how he had ventured into unfamiliar territory. “We killed many enemies in that war. For 15 days, we moved across the country rounding up Pakistani soldiers and pro-Pakistan agents.” The war stood out as it was the first time that the Tibetans, a mountain people, had to negotiate with the riverine landscape of Bangladesh. “We walked on muddy riverbeds, and went from village to village looking for enemies. The experience was unusual for us Tibetan soldiers,” he says. Zolpa Sibu Lama (left) and Adrouk with their certificates | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar