Interview Age: 69
Date of Birth: 1938
Birthplace: Jongmay, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1983
Political Prisoner: Yes
Interview No.: 71
Location: Dickey Larsoe Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India
Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment
Keywords: brutality/torture, childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese rule -- life under, commune system, farm life, forced labor, imprisonment, Kham, monasteries -- destruction of , thamzing/struggle sessions
Tsetin's father travelled often to China to trade goods and witnessed hardships imposed there by the Chinese government. When she was 12 years old, Chinese soldiers arrived in Tsetin's village and at first they were "very loving" and even started schools for the children. Later, when many people were arrested, the entire community rose up in rebellion. Chinese airplanes bombed monasteries and bullets killed villagers as they tried to resist the invasion.
Many monasteries in Tsetin's region were completely dismantled and turned into agricultural land. People were afraid of being captured and began to flee into the forest. Her parents were able to escape to India, but left Tsetin with relatives in Tibet. She and her relatives attempted to escape at a later time, but two relatives were killed by the Chinese. Tsetin was forced to return to her village and was later imprisoned for one month and beaten.
Tsetin describes the failure of the commune system implemented in 1973-74, which caused severe starvation among the people. When she learned around 1980 that her mother was still alive, she escaped to India and was reunited with her family.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Tsewang Dorjee (Videographer)
Link: Watch On Youtube
Topic: Interview with Tsetin (alias) on 7/5/2007