Interviewee Profile

Name: Jampa Thinlay
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 84

Date of Birth: 1929

Birthplace: Tawu Nyamtso, Kham, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Monk

Monk/Nun: Previously

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 25D

Date: 2012-05-16

Language: Tibetan

Location: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Categories: Resistance and Revolution

Keywords: Chinese -- first appearance of, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, Dalai Lama -- escape, guerrillas in Mustang, Kham, monastic life, refugee in India -- life as


Jampa Thinlay was born into a farming family in Tawu in Kham Province. He became a monk at the age of 10 in order to serve his paternal uncle, who lived in a local monastery. He recalls with gratitude that his uncle taught him to read and recite prayers. When he was older he moved to Gaden Jangtse Monastery to take his final vows, but was unable to stay long due to the Chinese invasion.

Jampa Thinlay feels that there was only misery once the Chinese appeared in Tibet. He describes how the Chinese deceived the Tibetan people with dhayen 'Chinese silver coins' and subsequently confiscated everything that the Tibetans owned. He talks about the destruction of holy statues and how they were transported to China and melted down.

Jampa Thinlay recounts how he and his fellow monks joined the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force. He wanted to volunteer to escort the Dalai Lama out of Tibet, but his horse was not good enough for the journey. Jampa Thinlay details the numerous confrontations the guerrillas engaged with the Chinese army and the limitations they faced while fighting the enemy. He briefly explains the guerrillas' efforts in Mustang, Nepal and the support they received from the United States. The men fighting at the Nepalese border felt were advised by the Dalai Lama to surrender arms to the Nepali army and Jampa Thinlay recalls being very angry at that time. He talks about his life after Mustang and how he came to live in Dharamsala, India.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
  • Pema Tashi (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Jampa Thinlay on 5/16/2012

Length: 01:14:49

© 2009-2018 Tibet Oral History Project. These translations and transcripts are provided for individual research purposes only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Tibet Oral History Project, P.O. Box 6464, Moraga, CA 94570-6464. Privacy Policy