Interviewee Profile

Name: Gyendun Tashi
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 80

Date of Birth: 1932

Birthplace: Bora Amcho, Amdo, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Nomad

Monk/Nun: Previously

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 52D

Date: 2012-05-18

Language: Tibetan

Location: Tashi Jong, Tashi Jong, Himachal Pradesh, India

Categories: Resistance and Revolution

Keywords: Amdo, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese army -- invasion by , Chinese Nationalists/Kuomintang, Chinese rule -- life under, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, monasteries -- destruction of , refugee in India -- life as, sterilization


Gyendun Tashi became a monk at the age of 11, but left the monastery at age 17 due to the Chinese invasion. He recalls that Communist Chinese first appeared in his village in 1951 guided by Kuri Rukhong, who was formerly a Tibetan monk and later a Chinese spy. An uncle of Gyendun Tashi and an associate killed Kuri Rukhong because he declared that the monasteries must be destroyed. The villagers harbored Nationalist Chinese refugees and were able to resist the Communists for a few years. During a pilgrimage, Gyendun Tashi witnessed the forced sterilization of Tibetan young men and women near Tso Ngonpo.

In a most elaborate manner, Gyendun Tashi narrates the various facets of life in his village since the occupation by Chinese, which included numerous skirmishes, hide and seek with Chinese soldiers in the mountains, dropping of arms by Nationalist Chinese to help the Tibetans' resistance movement in his region, and the surrender of weapons. Gyendun Tashi even travelled to China with a group of Tibetan delegates to meet with the Chinese in 1957.

Gyendun Tashi went to Lhasa where he joined the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force to resist the Chinese onslaught. He describes how the Force was initiated, its Chief Andrug Gonpo Tashi, the many encounters with the Chinese, the risks, perils, the scarcity of food and his narrow escape over snow-covered mountains into Mon Tawang, India.

Interview Team:

  • Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
  • Ronny Novick (Videographer)
  • Thupten Kelsang Dakpa (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Gyendun Tashi on 5/18/2012

Length: 02:30:24

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