Name: Lobsang Gyamtso
Interview Age: 85
Date of Birth: 1930
Birthplace: Tsangdok, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Profession: Herding, Farming
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 38N
Location: Paljorling, Pokhara, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History, Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, farm life, guerrillas in Mustang, herding, refugee in India -- life as, monastic life, Utsang
Lobsang Gyamtso was born in Tsangdok located below the great monastery of Gaden, very close to Lhasa. He remembers going to graze animals at the age of 7 or 8 and playing with other young herders. As he got older, he began working on the farm by helping to sow crops and dig irrigation channels. He explains how the neighbors helped each other on rotational basis and also hired laborers paid with grain or the loan of farm animals for plowing.
Lobsang Gyamtso joined Gaden Monastery to get an education but he was not very good at studying the scriptures so he was given other responsibilities. After spending 10 years at the monastery, Lobsang Gyamtso then joined the Chushi Gangdrug [Defend Tibet Volunteer Force] to fight against the invading Chinese army. He was sent to Gyaching in Kongpo, where they planned an attack on Tibetan New Year's day upon a Chinese garrison. He was then deployed to Lho Dhongkar, which fell on the route of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's escape.
Lobsang Gyamtso and his colleagues also decided to flee. After reaching Indian Territory he worked as part of a road crew in Gangtok, Sikkim and then moved to Mustang in Nepal hoping to fight against the Chinese again. He joined the Lo Dikzug 'Mustang Organization' and describes the trainings and operations carried out against the Chinese.
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Katharine Davies Samway (Interviewer)
- Dhiraj Kafle (Videographer)