Jamyang Samten was born in a small village called Sarzo Gyalsa. Until the Chinese arrived in their village, he and his family led a contented life farming and tending their animals. Once the Chinese arrived, Jamyang Samten and others like him became paupers while the Chinese turned those who previously had been poor and beggars into the new village leaders.
Jamyang Samten and some of his friends rebelled and attempted unsuccessfully to remove the Chinese from their region. As a result of this incident, they were sent to perform hard labor. Jamyang Samten provides a vivid picture of the difficulties he faced in the labor camp, including "question-answer” sessions in which each worker would be forced to reveal faults of the others.
After his release from prison camp, fearing future arrests, Jamyang Samten and four of his friends fled to Lhasa. They visited holy places in Lhasa and received blessings from His Holiness the Penchen Lama. Jamyang Samten and his friends then escaped to Kalimpong, India in 1959, where they soon received news that Lhasa had been taken over by the Chinese. Jamyang Samten misses his country and his wife and family he left behind; his one wish is to die in Tibet.
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