The Life of a Tibetan Slave

Revolutionary Worker #748, March 20, 1994

In the late 1950s, as the first waves of liberation swept through Tibet, a 36-year-old ex-slave, Lando, rose in front of an audience of former serfs and slaves to testify:

When Lando was only eight years old, her father was whipped until he was paralyzed. The overseer came to his bed to order him back to work. When Lando's father couldn't get up, the overseer whipped him to death for "faking"--right in his bed!

The overseer turned away from the dead man and grabbed Lando, taking her with him as a slave. She slept in the barn together with the sheep she was ordered to herd. She was repeatedly raped by her master and beaten into unconsciousness by the master's jealous wife. Eventually she became pregnant, and was sold to another owner to hide the "shame." For 28 years, Lando lived in this torment.

She was never allowed any contact with her family. Often she prayed for death, but was afraid to commit suicide because she feared this would cause her to be reborn into an even worse reincarnation. When liberation came, teams of revolutionaries went out among the slaves and serfs to organize them to overthrow their oppression. But Lando had never heard the word "oppression" and at first didn't understand what it meant. Her suffering, she had always thought, was her own fault--her inescapable karma.

Hearing Lando's story, the gathering of liberated serfs wept and shouted "Down with serfdom!" By then Lando had become a revolutionary activist and leader in the area.

From When Serfs Stood Up in Tibet

by Anna Louise Strong

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
(The RW Online does not currently communicate via email.)