There is probably no personality in modern (pre -1959) Tibetan politics more colourful or controversial than Kashopa Choegyal Nyima. Most major histories of modern Tibet mention him, some like Shakabpa favourably, others like Goldstein in less fl attering terms.
In spite of his lengthy and contentious political career Kashopa has, unfortunately, not received more in-depth attention from historians and scholars, which is a pity as he was quite deeply involved in some of the most consequential events of modern Tibetan history: the Lungshar conspiracy, the imprisonment of Gedun Choephel, the Sera War and more. One scholar has gone so far as to note that “Kashopa’s presence is felt in every aspect of Tibet’s recent history”.
Kashopa’s son, Jamyang Choegyal, has now come out with a very personal and engaging biography of his famous father, which will definitely contribute to our understanding of that fascinating period in Tibetan history. For the general reader there is much to enjoy in this absorbing story of a politician’s life in old Lhasa, with all its rewards and pitfalls.
About the author:
JAMYANG CHOEGYAL KASHO was born in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1938. Educated in Tibet, India and Beijing, he became completely fluent in the Chinese language and ways of thinking, whilst also attaining mastery of Tibetan and English. After a career as a middle-level official in Tibet, in 1991 he became the first, and probably the only, Tibetan official and Party member of that rank to defect whilst on an official visit abroad. He then worked in London for some twenty years as a translator, advisor and analyst of exceptional ability alongside those studying and publishing comment aries on contemporary Tibetan affairs.