Name: Keotsang Tulku Jamphel Yeshi
Interview Age: 70
Date of Birth: 1944
Birthplace: Lhoka, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1985
Political Prisoner: Yes
Interview No.: 1B
Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India
Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment
Keywords: brutality/torture, Dalai Lama, Chinese -- first appearance of, forced labor, imprisonment, Chinese rule -- life under, March 10th Uprising, monastic life, Chinese -- oppression under, resistance, starvation, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang
Keotsang Tulku Jamphel Yeshi was born in Lhoka in Nethong District of Utsang Province. He describes Lhokha as a very large area with a population of around 10,000. His family engaged in farming as well as raising animals. He was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous Keotsang Rinpoche at the age of 2. He recounts his migration to Lhasa to his own monastery called Keotsang Ritoe and the role of his teacher and the chanzo 'business manager.' He spent his time memorizing scriptures and was disciplined by beatings if he did not study well.
As a teenager Keotsang Tulku Jamphel Yeshi went to Sera Monastery near Lhasa to study and practice debating. He witnessed the initial period of the Chinese occupation when they claimed to come to liberate Tibet and develop it. He witnessed the bombing of Sera Monastery and Norbulingka and the uprising in Lhasa. He and his teachers attempted to escape but were eventually arrested by the Chinese.
Keotsang Tulku Jamphel Yeshi suffered tremendously having to undergo thamzing 'struggle sessions' and 17 years in prison followed by three years of hard labor. He narrates in detail about the suffering prisoners underwent like starvation, torture, hard labor and political reeducation.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)