Name: Kunchok Namgyal
Interview Age: 82
Date of Birth: 1933
Birthplace: Dhueda - Jamdha, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1933
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 27N
Location: Kathmandu, Bagmati, Nepal
Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation
Keywords: brutality/torture, Chinese -- oppression under, escape experiences, Kham, monasteries -- destruction of , refugee in Nepal -- life as, thamzing/struggle sessions
Kunchok Namgyal was born in Dhueda, Kham Province. His was a nomadic family that raised animals, herded and milked them. His father was also the designated leader of a group of 70-80 nomads.
Kunchok Namgyal witnessed oppression and suffering inflicted after the Chinese invasion. He recollects how senior lamas and leaders were abducted, persecuted and were never to be seen again. He cites the example of his own father and maternal uncle who were either killed or died from starvation. The Chinese coerced poor Tibetans to be "activists" and created class divisions. He gives a detailed account of how a thaptsoe 'physical struggle [thamzing 'Chinese struggle session']' was conducted in front of the compulsory public meetings during which leaders were falsely accused of victimizing the poor.
Kunchok Namgyal was witness to the executions of two leaders that led the resistance against the Chinese. He describes the destruction of all the local monasteries at the command of the Chinese and many of the monks were killed. Fearing his own arrest or execution, Kunchok Namgyal decided to flee. He traveled to Mt. Kailash, where he and his daughter circumambulated the holy mountain before continuing on to exile in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Dhiraj Kafle (Videographer)