Lobsang Samphel, 25, was born in Tsoduk nomadic village in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, in Amdo province. He became a monk at 13 and joined Gomang Monastery, which had over 900 monks prior to 2008. Lobsang Samphel saw first-hand the deaths of unarmed Tibetan protesters from police firing at a protest in Ngaba County town. He reached in exile in India in November 2012. He shares his story with TCHRD:
“After the widespread protests in 2008 in Tibet, the Chinese authorities appointed 25 permanent staff at Gomang Monastery, to carry out ‘patriotic education’ and oversee the entire teachings and administration at the monastery. Restrictions on day-to-day affairs have since increased at the monastery, posing great obstacles to the monks. Beginning 29 March 2008, the Chinese authorities launched an intensified three-month ‘patriotic education’ campaign at Gomang Monastery. The objectives of the campaign were to oppose and condemn ‘splittist cliques’ and ‘Dalai clique.’ Monks undergoing political education classes had to sit for exams every ten days, finding the correct answer for sensitive political questions such as ‘Is the Dalai clique responsible for ‘splitting’ the Chinese Motherland or not?’ Such derogatory remarks and baseless allegations against our root spiritual teacher filled our hearts with anguish and we felt as if our hearts have been wounded.