Interviewee Profile

Name: Namgyal
(Alias: Yes)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 77

Date of Birth: 1933

Birthplace: N/A

Year Left Tibet: 1981

Profession: Monk

Monk/Nun: Previously

Political Prisoner: Yes

Interview Details

Interview No.: 55M

Date: 2010-04-11

Language: Tibetan

Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India

Categories: Resistance and Revolution

Keywords: brutality/torture, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese army -- invasion by , forced labor, imprisonment, Kham, refugee in India -- life as, resistance fighters


Namgyal remembers the Chinese first appeared in his village on the 13th day of the 3rd month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar of 1949. He was a 16 year old soldier of the local resistance group at that time. He recounts how the Chinese misled the poor people by bribing them with dhayen 'Chinese silver coins,' food supplies and false propaganda making the people believe that socialism would bring much happiness to them.

Namgyal speaks in great length about the resistance movement Tibetans attempted against the Chinese invasion, how ill-equipped the Tibetans were in terms of both men and weapons and his own involvement in this effort. Namgyal and one other fighter were captured by the Chinese after the rest of his group was killed. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Namgyal served rigorous imprisonment for 13 years and forced labor for the rest of the time. He talks about those horrible days when the prisoners were tortured by different methods, so much so that out of 8,000 prisoners at Pongdha Lungten, only 1,000 survived. Indoctrination attempts were also carried out among the prisoners through books on communism. Namgyal was labeled as a "rebel" and the Chinese tried to coerce him to confess to crimes he did not commit. They threatened to kill him and also tried to convince him to commit suicide.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Ronny Novick (Videographer)
  • Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Namgyal (alias) on 4/11/2010

Length: 02:08:20

Short Videos

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Torture Techniques used on Tibetan Prisoners

Length: 00:03:33

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Desire to Take Revenge against the Chinese

Length: 00:03:07

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