Interviewee Profile

Name: Tsultrim Sangpo
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 62

Date of Birth: 1953

Birthplace: Jang Yae, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1973

Profession: N/A

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: Yes

Interview Details

Interview No.: 17N

Date: 2015-04-11

Language: Tibetan

Location: Kathmandu, Bagmati, Nepal

Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese rule -- life under, commune system, escape experiences, imprisonment, Utsang, wealthy/upper class


Tsultrim Sangmo was born in Jang Yae in Utsang Province. His father was not married to his mother and his wife insisted she be sent away. Tsultrim Sangmo's father was the manager of Yae Shikha, a large estate owned by the Tibetan Government. Because of their wealthy status the family was isolated from the rest of the community after the Chinese occupation. Tsultrim Sangpo had a lonely life as a child bereft of friends and denied an education.

Tsultrim Sangpo talks about the Chinese' implementation of democratic reforms at which time almost everything his family owned was confiscated and they were forced out of the large estate into a small house. The commune system of agriculture was established. He also talks about the incident of revolt started by a nun and how it led to famine in the region after people stopped taking care of and irrigating the commune lands because they believed they would be able to expel the Chinese.

Tsultrim Sangpo witnessed the Chinese taking away his father in chains to prison, where he remained for six years. He was released early due to the villagers' petition seeking his release on account of old age. Although happy that the family was reunited, life remained difficult under the Chinese occupation. Tsultrim Sangpo decided to flee to Nepal alone and he describes the arduous journey through a difficult mountain pass without companions at the age of 19.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Henry Tenenbaum (Videographer)
  • Palden Tsering (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Tsultrim Sangpo on 4/11/2015

Length: 01:18:50

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