Name: Tsering Tashi
Interview Age: 69
Date of Birth: 1941
Birthplace: Lhoka Danang, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 64M
Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese army -- invasion by , refugee in India -- life as, monastic life, Chinese -- oppression under, resistance fighters, Utsang
Tsering Tashi became a monk at Gaden Monastery at the age of 8. When he was 14 years old, he accompanied his teacher to collect offerings for the monastery in far off nomadic regions of Kham and Amdo for three years. He recounts his first experience with Chinese soldiers in Chamdo--how they appeared, their behavior and the gradual changes in their attitude towards the Tibetans. He witnessed their repressive policies and torture sessions targeting the wealthy and village leaders. Along with many people from Kham, he and his group fled to Lhasa.
Tensions were also rising in Lhasa and the monks of the three great monasteries were given guns by the government to protect their monasteries. In 1955 His Holiness the Dalai Lama had distributed protective amulets to all the monks of Sera, Drepung and Gaden monasteries and Tibetan soldiers. Tsering Tashi believes the Dalai Lama had anticipated fighting with the Chinese and gave the amulets to protect the Tibetans from being wounded by bullets.
Tsering Tashi joined the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force, but he received no training and had no gun. After being defeated by the Chinese army, he and many Chushi Gangdrug fighters made a difficult escape to India. He became a road construction worker in India and explains how he helped purchase the first vehicle for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
- Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
- Ronny Novick (Videographer)
- Namgyal Tsering (Interpreter)
Link: Watch On Youtube
Topic: Interview with Tsering Tashi (alias) on 4/8/2010