Name: Jampa Thinlay
Interview Age: 84
Date of Birth: 1929
Birthplace: Tawu Nyamtso, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 25D
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.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)