Interview Age: 83
Date of Birth: 1929
Birthplace: Kongpo, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 49D
Location: Tashi Jong, Tashi Jong, Himachal Pradesh, India
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese army -- invasion by , army -- Tibetan, Utsang
Karma came from the Kongpo region of Utsang Province. His was a family of farmers that grew wheat, peas and barley. Karma spent nine years under the Chinese occupation. He was aware of thamzing 'struggle sessions' on the wealthy and land owners, but did not himself have any bad experiences with the Chinese. He cut trees from the forest and made coal at the request of the Chinese and was paid well for this work.
Karma explains the circumstances that compelled him to join the Tibetan Government Army at the age of 21, which he belonged to for two years. They were trained well and stood guard over the region of Sok Tsendhengong, but never had to fight in a battle. His commander told the troops the Chinese had arrived and that he was going to meetings with them; soon after the Tibetan Army was disbanded.
Karma touches briefly on the struggles of the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force as they were pursued by the Chinese through Karma's region. The loss of Lhasa became apparent to the villagers only when they saw the Chinese troops leading the beautifully decorated horses that belonged to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Karma fled to India in 1959 after hearing about the Dalai Lama's escape. He visited Tibet again in 1990 and saw that only the farmers remained because the wealthy and former leaders had been wiped out.
- Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
- Ronny Novick (Videographer)
- Thupten Kelsang Dakpa (Interpreter)