Name: Lobsang Tashi
Interview Age: 74
Date of Birth: 1938
Birthplace: Shidong, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 2005
Political Prisoner: Yes
Interview No.: 7D
Location: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India
Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment
Keywords: brutality/torture, childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese Nationalists/Kuomintang, commune system, forced labor, imprisonment, Kham, resistance fighters, taxes, thamzing/struggle sessions
Lobsang Tashi was born in Shidong in the Gongka Lama District. He was the third in line of eight siblings. His parents were farmers and he began working at the age of 12 by herding cows. His first experience with Chinese was in 1949 when there were skirmishes between the Nationalist Chinese and the forces of the Gongka Lama in his region. He talks about the conflict between the Nationalist Chinese and the Communist Chinese as well as the regional authority of the Gongka Lama.
The Communist Chinese took over Lobsang Tashi's region in 1959 and he recalls that his father and uncle who fought against the Chinese were killed by grenades. Lobsang Tashi then joined the resistance movement at 18 years of age. Armed with a rifle from a relative, Lobsang Tashi took part in 13 encounters with the Chinese, during which he was shot in the face and the leg.
Lobsang Tashi narrates the events that led to his capture and subsequent prison term. He recounts how the prisoners were falsely implicated, forced to confess, beaten brutally and starved to death. They were forced to labor on the construction of the electricity plant in Chamdo. After five years he was released from prison and returned to his village, but remained under Chinese surveillance until he finally fled to India along with his daughter in 2005.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)