Dalai Lama’s last surviving bodyguard dies in Minnesota
Anen Dawa, the last surviving personal bodyguard of the Tibetan spiritual leader who escorted him during the 1959 flight to India, died at the age of 83 in Minnesota, United States, according to a report on the official website of the Tibetan government in the exile Tibet.net.
He died peacefully with his family by his side, he added.
Born in 1939, Anen Dawa was just 15 years old when he joined the Dalai Lama’s personal army in Norbulingka, Tibet. After four years, he was formally inducted into the military and continued to serve as the Dalai Lama’s personal guard through his education in the Sera, Drepung, and Gaden monasteries for the next 4 years.
In the most critical turn of events in March 1959, when the Tibetan uprising was crushed and the threat of Chinese military attacks was growing, on the fateful night of March 17, 1959, the Dalai Lama, accompanied by dozens of thousands of Tibetans fled into exile. India.
Dawa was one of the guards who accompanied the Dalai Lama. Upon arriving safely in India on March 31, accompanying personal bodyguards and a group of volunteers returned to Tibet to mount a resistance against Chinese forces.
At that time, as the youngest of them, the spiritual leader asked Dawa and another bodyguard to accompany him to Mussourie, where he established his first residence.
In accordance with the Dalai Lama’s instructions, he joined the Tibetan Homes School founded in Mussourie as one of its first 50 students and later served in the Central Tibetan Administration as a translator and facilitator for Tibetan refugees arriving in Nepal.
He then continued his further studies in the US He immigrated to Minnesota through resettlement policy in 1966.