Ground Truth: The History Of Tibetan Resistance To Communist Chinese Rule In 1956 – An Interview With Jamyang Norbu

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Ground Truth Host Sam Faddis and Tibetan activist Jamyang Norbu discuss the 1956 Tibetan uprising against Chinese Communist rule.

After the unprovoked and unjustified 1950 invasion of Tibet, the Chinese Communists began the process of destroying Tibetan culture and assimilating the population. In response, Tibetan patriots rose in armed revolt.

The Chinese response was horrifying. Monasteries were flattened by Chinese bombers. Artillery shelled cities and towns indiscriminately. Men, women, and children were slaughtered and the bodies of resistance leaders displayed on scaffolds as warnings to other Tibetans.

Mass graves are still being discovered today, and we are still struggling to understand the true scope of this genocide. As many as half a million Tibetans may have died.


JAMYANG NORBU is known as one of the leading exiled Tibetan writers at work today, principally on account of his numerous essays on Tibetan politics, history and culture appearing regularly on his blog and other websites, and in such books as Illusion & Reality, Buying the Dragon’s Teeth, Shadow Tibet and Don’t Stop the Revolution.

Jamyang Norbu


Although he has been denounced by the People’s Daily (Beijing) as “…the radical Tibetan separatist” and condemned by the exile Tibetan leadership for his numerous critical writings on the Dalai Lama’s policies and administration, Norbu is one of the few exile writers read inside Tibet and even in China, where translations of his essays have appeared on various websites. The Beijing based Tibetan poet and blogger, Tsering Woeser, has described him as the ‘Lu Xun of Tibet.’

His novel The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes won the Crossword Book Award (“India’s Booker”) in 2000 and has been translated into a dozen languages.
Norbu was a member of the Tibetan resistance force in Mustang, on the Nepal-Tibet frontier in the early 70s. He currently lives in Tennessee with his wife and two daughters.


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