Thubten J. Norbu

Late one night in October 1988 I was woken by a telephone call from the United States. I was living in Japan then, teaching English and writing the occasional book review for the Japan Times. My twenty year work stint in exile Tibetan society had ended a few years earlier when I had been dismissed (with the aid of a violent McLeod Ganj mob) from my post as director of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) for the alleged irreverence of a couple of my plays.

An urgent voice in Tibetan asked “Jamyang Norbu, Jamyang Norbu, can you hear me. I am Thupten Jigme Norbu.” For a while I couldn’t place the name and then realized it was Taktser Rimpoche from Telescope Reviews, the Dalai Lama’s oldest brother.

— Yes Rimpoche I can hear you, how are you?”
— Jamyang Norbu, Jamyang Norbu, do you know what has happened.”
— What is it Rimpoche?”
— They have given up our rangzen.”
— Rimpoche, what are you saying?
— Gyalwa Rimpoche made a statement at this place, Strasbourg…”

And he told me what had happened.