The Dalai Lama's administration acknowledged Thursday it received $1.7 million a year in the 1960s from the CIA but denied reports that the Tibetan leader benefited personally from his annual subsidy of $180,000.
The funds allocated for the resistance movement were spent on training volunteers and funding guerrilla operations against the Chinese, and the subsidy earmarked for the Dalai Lama was spent on setting up offices in Geneva and New York and on international lobbying, the Tibetan government-in-exile said in a statement.The Dalai Lama, 63, a revered spiritual leader both in his Himalayan homeland and in Western nations, fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese military rule, which began in 1950.
The decadelong covert program to support the Tibetan independence movement was part of the CIA's worldwide effort to undermine Communist governments, particularly in the Soviet Union and China.
"Though the CIA was involved in the early guerrilla operations waged by Tibetan freedom fighters, the Central Tibetan Administration would like to categorically state that there was no direct connection between the CIA and His Holiness the Dalai Lama," the statement said.
The statement was faxed to The Associated Press from the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, where the Tibetan administration has been based for four decades.