Interviewee Profile

Name: Tsering Tashi
(Alias: Yes)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 69

Date of Birth: 1941

Birthplace: Lhoka Danang, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Monk

Monk/Nun: Previously

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 64M

Date: 2010-04-08

Language: Tibetan

Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India

Categories: Resistance and Revolution

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese army -- invasion by , Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, monastic life, refugee in India -- life as, 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.

Interview Team:

  • Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
  • Ronny Novick (Videographer)
  • Namgyal Tsering (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Tsering Tashi (alias) on 4/8/2010

Length: 03:01:15

Short Videos

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Protective Amulets Provided to Monks by Dalai Lama

Length: 00:02:30

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