The Jokhang Temple teaching courtyard was a frequent venue for “struggle sessions” and was always crowded. Most of the people subjected to such “struggle sessions” were lamas, people associated with the former Tibetan government, businessmen,
military officers and landowners.
The 66-year-old 10th Dhemo Rinpoche Lobsang Jamphel Lungtok Tenzin Gyatso, a highly revered reincarnate lama of the Tengyeling Monastery of Lhasa, and his 47-year-old wife are led through a “struggle session” by the Red Guards on July 27, 1966. A camera, belonging to his son, hangs from his neck as an evidence of his complicity with foreign powers in counter-revolutionary activities.
The 10th Dhemo Rinpoche, his wife, Lhamon Yeshe Tsultrim (behind Dhemo Rinpoche) and Lhatsun Rinpoche (second to last) of Sera Monastery are paraded through the streets in front of Jokhang Temple, during their “struggle session” on July 27, 1966. They were compelled to put on the elaborate costumes suggestive of their class and status. The allegations written on the paper dunce hats and banners accuse them of being feudalists and counter-revolutionaries.
Ribur Ngawang Gyatso Rinpoche of Sera Monastery is led through the streets in front of the Jokhang by two impassioned communist cadres. The message on the dunce hat on his head and the banner on his chest reads: “Reactionary Ngawang Gyatso should be eliminated.” Ribur Rinpoche ed Tibet after the Cultural Revolution and passed away in 2006 in India.
Dorjee Phagmo, a female reincarnate lama (centre) and her parent are led through a “struggle session.” Her father, Rinzin Gyalpo, was said to have helped the People’s Liberation Army during the Chinese invasion and hence was seen as true son of the motherland. But he was subjected to numerous “struggle sessions,” severe beatings and imprisonment on the charges of hurling abuses at Mao when drunk.
Ani Sithar, sister of the famous Tibetan historian, WD Shakabpa is paraded through the streets with religious objects laden over her head and shoulders. The placard tied to her chest reads: “Counter revolutionary Sithar is a member of counter revolutionary Shakabpa’s family. After
the uprising, she wrote songs in praise of counter-revolutionary Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.” She was imprisoned for eight years and was released only at the end of the Cultural Revolution. She ed to India in 1981, where she passed away in Dharamshala in 2000.
The man dressed in a fur hat and fur chupa (the Tibetan government’s winter dress for the o cers of 4th rank and above) is an aristocrat Horkhang Sonam Pelbar. The woman on the right is his wife and the man wearing the uniform of Tibetan military commander is his father- in-law. Three of them were accused of “fostering the dream to revive old feudalistic society” because of possessing these items. They were forced to wear the dresses and were paraded through the streets of Lhasa in August 1966.
Tsadi Tseten Dorjee is subjected to a fierce “struggle session” by Lugug Achak, the lady wearing a military cap, inside the Jokhang Temple courtyard. Lugug Achak, prior to 1959, was a beggar, commonly known by the name, Lugug Tangpo (beggar). The long placard on Tsadi Tseten Dorjee’s chest reads: “Murderer of the proletariat, key conspirator of the uprising and counter-revolutionary fugitive.”
Sampho Tsewang Rigzin, 62 and his wife are led through a “struggle session” in front of a fervent crowd in August 1966. Sampho Tsewang Rigzin was the father of Sampho Tenzin Dhondup, a key member of the 1951 Tibetan delegation that signed the Seventeen-Point Agreement under duress in Beijing and faced a 20-year imprisonment for his participation in the 1959 uprisings in Lhasa.
The elderly man in the middle with bundles of Indian currency over his chest is Tsogyal Rigzin Lhundup from the Nangrong-Shag family. The money is said to have been fees he collected from his patients when he visited India earlier. He was bed-ridden for several years due to the severe beatings he received during Cultural Revolution and passed away in 1979. The young lady on his right is his daughter Thinpal and the man on his left is his son, Kungyur. Kungyur later ed to India and served as a personal physician to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Pomda Topgyal is held from the neck by a member of “Wapaling Regional Party Committee,” as he is subjected to a “struggle session.” Several religious items are fastened to his body and a white banner tied at his back. Pomda Topgyal belonged
to an a uent business family (Pomda Tsang) from the Kham region of Tibet.
From left - Pomda Topgyal, Tsogo Dhondup Tsering and Sampho Tsewang Rigzin face the crowd during a “struggle session” in the Jokhang Temple courtyard. The placards on the chests of the two charge them with counter-revolutionary activities and demand they be wiped out entirely.
The “struggle session” of Gyetakpa Dechoe, a Tibetan aristocratic woman and Mochen Tang, a Chinese businessman from Kokonor region of Amdo. The inscription on the paper hats and the banner over the chest of Mochen Tang, written in Chinese, accuse him of supplying bullets and money, looted from the country, to support the Tibetan revolt against the Chinese.
A Chinese communist cadre conducts a “struggle session” on an elderly monk as a Tibetan member holds the monk from the back. The monk was paraded through the streets dressed in oracle attire. The bundles of paper on the monk’s chest are religious scriptures.