Interview Age: 74
Date of Birth: 1933
Birthplace: Chugya, Amdo, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 80
Location: Dickey Larsoe Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: Amdo, childhood memories, Chinese rule -- life under, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, Dalai Lama -- escape, escape experiences, March 10th Uprising, monastic life, Norbulingka -- defense of, refugee in India -- life as
Tenzin was ordained as a monk in his village in Amdo at the age of eight. Years later, when the Chinese arrived in Amdo and began oppressing the villagers, he left for Lhasa hoping it was safer there. Tenzin joined Sera Monastery and later gave up his vows in order to volunteer as a security guard at Norbulingka to protect His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the Chinese.
Tenzin gives an eyewitness account of the events that occurred in Lhasa around March 10, 1959. He and perhaps over 1,000 men surrounded Norbulingka until the Dalai Lama was able to escape. Tenzin describes in detail the shelling of Norbulingka and the burning of the Jowo Ramoche statue by the Chinese.
After leaving Lhasa Tenzin joined the Chushi Gangdrug Guerrilla Force, but because they were ill-equipped, they could not withstand the weapons used by the Chinese. After being fired on by Chinese airplanes Tenzin and other Chushi Gangdrug fighters fled to India. Tenzin returned to Tibet in 1986 and 2005, visiting Norbulingka where he saw the Golden Throne, built for the Dalai Lama before he fled to India.
- Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
- Ronny Novick (Videographer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)