March 9, 2012

TIBET: The Old Man Who Wanted To Speak Before Dying

PARIS, France / Courrier International / Asia / March 9, 2012

Thakgyam is a Tibetan 77 years. He recounts the terror that struck in 1958 on his community, even before the exile of the Dalai Lama to India. Here are the stories of atrocities carried out by the Chinese People's Liberation Army against the Tibetan resistance. * A unique testimony.

Interview by Frank Renaud

I am an old man witness to the true story of abuse and torture suffered by infinite people close and innocent. I myself have experienced such misfortunes and I truly experienced pain unimaginable to the human mind. So I feel like a survivor of history for the Tibetans in exile, Tibetans, especially people of my region, and more particularly, of all people of Amdo [t one of the three regions of historical Tibet, with the U-Tsang and Kham].

[...]When the Chinese soldiers came to our community in the summer of 1958, I was 23. I remember telling the locals that they had arrived overnight crossing the Machu [Yellow River]. All people of our community were divided into three battalions to prevent the advance of soldiers. [...] Our leader told us: "Today, we will fight for the good of Tibet, the Snow Country."
[...]We all entered the fray. But within minutes, 98 men and horses in our village were killed.
[...]Those who had been captured were sent to TSO Sertri Nangchen [residence of a great lama, confiscated and turned into a prison]. Chinese soldiers have inquired: "How do you kill the Chinese?" while torturing and slaughtering prisoners, as if it were merely toys, without distinguishing between the guilty and the innocent [those who had participated in combat or not]. It was unbearable to see me and it is still difficult to talk about.For example, members of the prisoners were tied with rope and threw the soldiers on the ground again and again. Many had liver exploded, his head exploded, etc.. Countless are those who died on the field or remained disabled.
It was then winter. Certainly, numerous Tibetan prisoners were killed after being beaten, but even more died of starvation. We who occupied the same cell, we were discussing the evening and the next morning, on waking, it was discovered that many were dead. But we could not bury the bodies of prisoners because they were stuck to the frozen ground. Just for my community, 40 people died.
[...]Then we were taken, we prisoners, the District of Mating Xian. We tried to escape us as we worked on a railroad track. But we were captured by soldiers. So each of us was hit by three soldiers in a way that I can not describe.
For example, when they forced me to wrap my arms to the iron pipe of a stove. They fanned the fire and left burn until my clothes burn. My sweat ran down to the ground and my chest became very dark red. And yet another time, they have been soaked in water a rope and tied my hands behind my back and squeezing my arm shot up until they touch the back of my head.
It is from this time that I have not been able to move my arms. I had to eat like a dog. I had to pull on my clothes with his teeth to pull. But I was still put to forced labor. People like us were singled out, we were accused to be relentless class enemies, protruding rocks on the road, bad people need to purify completely.
[...] In 1959, we were released from prison.
[...]In general, the "old world" [before the "liberation" by the Chinese army], my family did not belong at all to a high social class and wealthy. I had never committed any crimes like killing other people. That did not stop to stop, hit me without restraint to the false pretext of crimes that I did not commit. Subsequently, when they listed my "crimes", they said that I had fought in 1958, I had been arrested, I had escaped from prison, I had been imprisoned again and I had yet escaped.
Then, we were convicted and imprisoned us.
[...]Much time has passed to the court determines that, because I escaped and I had been arrested several times.The verdict: eighteen years in prison. I've done my sentence. I had committed no crime, yet they told me: "You do not like the Communist Party". They therefore considered a crime against my opinion the Communist Party.
[...]In summary, I and many people of my native country have been falsely accused. We have been accused of misconduct that we had not committed, we were massacred, jailed, beaten in a manner inconceivable. The Communists made us suffer and tortured without restraint, we were terrified.
Not only men on our side of Machu have all disappeared, but women and children who did not die naturally are also legion. For example, driven by fire from soldiers to Machu, many have jumped. Many women, two or three of their children in their arms, threw themselves into the waves. Once a woman has concealed her child by the river at the foot of a tree, before jumping into the water. Since there has been no one to care for him, some time later, they found the remains of small child.
It was also told my mother she was a family who did not like communism and underwent sessions of public accusation.
[...]The gist of what the humble man I am, has to ask: can the dead who lost their lives to Buddhism and to Tibet reborn on earth conversion Pakchok Tchakna Pema [land under protection of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the Dalai Lama is an emanation, understand "reborn in Tibet"]. May they quickly get the eighteen conditions to be reborn as human beings who have access to the Dharma ["lifestyle"] and may they get the incomparable perfect enlightenment. May we, by the story of unspeakable suffering, living and dead have suffered, purify negative karma footprints of all Tibetans. These stories can be beneficial to the doctrine of the Buddha and happiness of our country. And above all, may the Supreme winner, wish-fulfilling jewel [the Dalai Lama], What happens to live long and happy times faster when Tibetans in exile and Tibet will be reunited.
Note: * The family of Thakgyam, who communicated his testimony written in Tibetan Courrier international , wanted his name to be quoted: "We live in a critical period for Tibet. We are not at a time when we must hide things. " This story was first offered by Thakgyam the Dalai Lama.

© Courrier international
Credit: Reports and photographs are property of owners of intellectual rights. 
Seniors World Chronicle, a not-for-profit, serves to chronicle and widen their reach.