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.
Ama Adhe is a hero, an inspiration and a legend. She never gave up despite the inhumane treatment meted out to her and countless other Tibetans who resisted the Chinese invasion of Tibet. She kept her faith and spirit high to be alive and one day tell her story to the whole world. She didn’t live to see her goal for a free Tibet fulfilled, but she performed her duty without fail.
Her selfless sacrifice in what she believed in stands as an example for all of us to take cue from, to serve the greater cause than fighting for trivial issues, or for personal benefit, as the task we have in our hands is something that’s going to take so much more than what we could understand.
In that spirit of service and sacrifice, Tibet will be free, and that’s the only way to fulfil the wishes of all that gave their lives for the cause very dear to them.
Let us all join together, leaving behind the big or small differences, to work for the common goal for Tibet to be free, our brothers and sisters in Tibet not live in fear, our culture is safe and environment clean. We can do that.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཎེ་པདྨེ་ཧ྄ུཾ As a tribute to Ama Adhe, it would be fitting for all Tibetans from the three regions of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo to unite and fight the common enemy rather than among ourselves. There is no issue among ourselves to fight. The issue is our beloved country is under foreign occupation.
The atrocities which Tibetans were meted are detailed in all the books written like Ama Adhe’s memoir, Ven Palden Gyatso. Dr Tenzin Choedak et al.
Those who don’t know they should read these books and learn what happened to Tibet and its peaceful people.
It is a measure of great sadness that instead of getting angry with the common enemy, some have turned it against each other. As Ama Adhe’s story demonstrates, the people of Kham and Amdo have stood up to the oppressor just as the people of U-Tsang. It shows we identify ourselves as one people with one goal of resisting the enemy.
More than a million of us perished in our struggle to defend our nation and honour. Many more continue to set themselves ablaze to demand our right to be our own master in our own country.
The fire of revolt lit by our Khampa brothers continued until 1972 when the Mustang Tibetan guerrilla camp was forced to close down when Nixon made friends with commie China.
However, the spirit of resistance continues to this day led by HH and now democratically elected Tibetan Sikyong. Unity is strength and division is death. We are the children of the monkey emanation of Chenrezig and the female ogress according to our history of origin.
The blood running in our veins are the same and so is the flesh and bones which constitutes our body. We are known as the བོད་ཀྱི་མིའུ་གདུང་དྲུག་ the six offsprings of Tibet. We should look at each other as brothers and sisters of the same parentage…