t h e   9-10-3   p r o j e c t

>  n e y t h a n g   m i g m a r

My name is Neythang Migmar and I come from a village called Nethang, near Chushur county west of Lhasa. My father's name is Lobsng Tharchin. He was a monk in a monastery. He was involved in the political activities during in the 1959 Chinese invasion of Tibet, as a result of which he was imprisoned for 5 years in Utritru Jail. After the conclusion of his term, my father was sent to a labor camp where he worked at a brick factory for ten years.

From the age of 8 until 10 I spent my life collecting firewood for our family and I would sometimes heard cattle. My uncle Jampal Lodoe died due to an epileptic fit, and this began to lead my family into gloominess. When I was 11, I was ordained as a monk and admitted to Nethang Tashi Gong Monastery.

In 1992, my family was prepared to go to Lhasa on pilgrimage. Unexpectedly, my father developed a headache and died due to a fit of epileptic seizure. In 1994, six monks from my monastery and I talked about going on a peaceful protest against the Chinese. We raised slogans like ≥Tibet is Independent≤, ≥China get out of Tibet≤, and ≥Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama≤. Within minutes, green uniformed Chinese guards appeared and arrested us. We were taken to the Gutsa Detention Centre. We were slapped, kicked, and punched a lot en route to Gutsa Prison.

Upon arrival to Gutsa Detention Centre, I was housed with those who had been caught because of fighting and stealing. When the Chinese authorities were drunk, they would beat the prisoners without reasons. One day, a guard took me outside and kicked my abdomen, due to which I couldn't speak and worse, I became unconscious.

After the conclusion of my sentence I was released. My aunt had died two weeks before, and my family was performing prayers for the deceased. I tried to go back to my monastery, but because of my status as a political prisoner I was not allowed.

On the 11th day of the 6th Tibetan month, I escaped to India with 23 others. It took 27 days, and we were arrested by the Nepalese police and detained for 9 days. Finally the Tibetan Reception Centre in Nepal paid the Nepalese police a bribe of 1000 rupees for each refugee.

After a long journey through India, I arrived in Dharamsala on September 19, and had the privilege to have an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I decided to return to the monastery, and chose the Ratoe Monastery in southern India. At this monastery so far away from my friends, I developed depression and came back to Dharamsala for treatment.

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