Name: Ngodup Yamphel
Interview Age: 79
Date of Birth: 1936
Birthplace: Lungpashi, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Profession: Herding, Farming
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 11N
Location: Kathmandu, Bagmati, Nepal
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, Chinese army -- invasion by , Kham, resistance fighters
Ngodup Yamphel was born in Lungpashi, a very small village. His was a semi-nomadic family engaged in farming as well as raising animals. He recalls that the Chinese appeared in his hometown when he was 12 years old. The Chinese initially tried to gain the trust of the Tibetans by paying large amounts of dhayen 'Chinese silver coins' for turnips and yaks.
Ngodup Yamphel recounts how the Chinese prepared an inventory of various animals owned by the families in his region and gave them vaccinations against diseases. They requested the local Tibetans send animals to assist with the construction of roads. Later the Chinese forcefully took away one of every six animals. Ngodup Yamphel says that amassing of Chinese troops led to the formation of the resistance movement under Phurpapon, the leader of Markham. He joined the movement at the age of 18 after a divination was used to decide which of his parents' five sons would become a soldier.
Ngodup Yamphel describes in detail about his participation in the resistance. The men were forced to flee towards the south and joined up with the Chushi Gangdrug [Defend Tibet Volunteer Force]. They faced many risky encounters with Chinese soldiers under the leadership of Andrug Gonpo Tashi. They continued to move from place to place to avoid being captured and eventually ended up in the safety Indian Territory.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Henry Tenenbaum (Videographer)