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Political Prisoners: Palden Gyatso and Ama Adhe

  • Laurie Hovell McMillin

Abstract

In discussing the urgency of the Tibetan political situation, Robert Thurman has suggested that, for contemporary human rights activists, Tibetans are today’s baby seals. Although the atrocities experienced by many political refugees and prisoners from Tibet are real enough, it is nonetheless troubling to see “the Tibetan question” become a cause celebre. In becoming popular, the “Tibetan cause” too easily becomes a commodity, one that will fall out of favor like last year’s must-have toy. Nonetheless, a recent “poster child” of the Tibetan independence movement, as one scholar of Tibetan Buddhism phrased it to me, is Palden Gyatso, a toothless, elderly Gelukpa monk who spent over 30 years in prison in Chinese-occupied Tibet. This unassuming monk came into exile expressly to bear witness to what he had seen, carrying with him a bag of torture instruments used on Tibetan political prisoners, the ones the Chinese government claims are not in prison at all, the ones China claims are not tortured.

Keywords

Life Story Esteemed Body Political Prisoner Narrative Strategy Oral Narrative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Laurie Hovell McMillin 2001

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  • Laurie Hovell McMillin

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