Name: Lobsang Thardo
Interview Age: 78
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Minbuk - Lhasa, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 14C
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, customs/traditions, education, escape experiences, Chinese -- first appearance of, government/administration, monastic life, Utsang
Lobsang Thardho was born in Minbuk in Banashol, Lhasa. His father was a government secretary. At the age of 5-6 he began school at the Potala Palace under his maternal uncle, who was also an opera singer. He learned to read and write, but was allowed to play games and singing opera songs too. His father established a school in Dechen District on the order of the 13th Dalai Lama to improve education, so Lobsang Thardho began studying at home instead.
Lobsang Thardho became a monk at the age of 13 and explains his studies and daily routine at Gaden Monastery. At age 19-20 his teacher passed away and he was appointed as an office member due to his writing skills. He was also appointed as an attendant to His Holiness the Dalai Lama who stayed temporarily at Gaden while taking his exams.
A large influx of Chinese began coming in vehicles to Lhasa. Lobsang Thardho's father and many others formed the Tibetan People's Organization to resist the Chinese' Liberation. He and many other monks gave up their vows to join the Defend Tibet Volunteer Force. He describes in detail a risky assignment to deliver a message back to Gaden Monastery. The situation became chaotic as many Tibetans fled from Lhasa and Lobsang Thardho was tasked with redirecting those with weapons to join the resistance. He himself finally ended up in battle but the untrained fighters were no match for the Chinese and fled to India.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Jeddadiah Emanuel (Videographer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (of Portland, OR) (Interpreter)