Tibet Sun Online News
ON THE WEB, 3 August 2020
Adhe Tapontsang, aka Ama Adhe, who spent 27 years in Chinese prisons for resisting the Chinese occupation of Tibet, has passed away at her home in McLeod Ganj due to natural causes at the age of 92.
A source told Tibet Sun that she didn’t have any major health issues, except that suffering a foot injury from a fall last year. “Old age is the cause of her death,” the source said.
Born in 1928 to a nomadic family in the Nyarong region of Kham in eastern Tibet (Chinese: Xinlong County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), grazing herds in the area called Metog Yul (Land of Flowers), she soon had to join the Khampa resistance to fight the Chinese invasion that began in 1950.
In 1954, when her first child was one year old, and she was pregnant with the second, her husband died of poisoning right in front of her. She then joined the Tibetan resistance of the Khampas.
In 1958, she was arrested and separated from her two young children. She was subjected to interrogation and torture, and condemned to re-education through forced labour in the laogai where she experienced extreme deprivation, torture, and rape during 27 years of imprisonment. She was released in 1985.
She fled to India in 1987, and made McLeod Ganj, exile seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan administration, her home. There she released her life story in a book Ama Adhe: The Voice that Remembers: The Heroic Story of a Woman’s Fight to Free Tibet, published in 1997.
The book describes the inhuman conditions that she and countless others were forced to endure after the Chinese invasion, and the subsequent brutalities Tibetans had to endure, including the destruction of Buddhist monasteries and the implementation of policies resulting in mass starvation.
Cremation ceremonies for Ama Adhe will be held on Wednesday morning in McLeod Ganj.