Mongolia's Monastery Massacres: "The Green-Eyed Lama

Lecture | September 23 | 5 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Oyungerel Tsedevdamba; Jeffrey L. Falt

 Brian Baumann, UC Berkeley

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), UC Berkeley Mongolia Initiative, Center for Buddhist Studies

The Green-Eyed Lama (2008) is an award-winning, decade-long bestselling novel written by Oyungerel Ts and Jeff Falt. First published in Mongolian, the book chronicles the triumphant romance between Sendmaa, a young belle in the countryside, and Baasan, a monk in the lamasery, as they try to cope with the turmoils of the political purge, terrible massacres and mass executions of thousands of innocent lamas and laymen alike in the early 20th century Mongolia.

The novel has been translated into French and English, and is the first part the Guardian saga, which tells the story of the community in the northern border area of Mongolia. The second part, the Sixty White Sheep (Жаран цагаан хонь), was published in 2017 (in Mongolian) as and there are two more books in research stage.

nd in Sri Lanka monitoring a fragile ceasefire in rebel held areas during the Tamil uprising. With an armed escort Jeffrey and his brother were among the first foreign visitors to Angkor Wat in Cambodia while the Khmer Rouges still roamed the countryside and mined the temples. Jeffrey taught at the Graduate Program in Pacific Basin Studies at Dominican University. His journal article, “Legal aid and the Empowerment of the Poor in Developing Countries” became a teaching tool and a call to action. Jeffrey met Oyungerel in 2000 while on a peaceful assignment in Mongolia. They married in 2004.

OYUNGEREL TSEDEVDAMBA grew up a herder girl in Communist Mongolia. She received a scholarship to study planning economy in the USSR and, after the fall of communism, she earned a Master’s Degree in Market Economy in Russia. She subsequently received a Master’s Degree from Stanford University where she was a Fulbright Fellow. She is an Eisenhower Fellow and a World Fellow of Yale University. From 2000 to 2004 Oyungerel headed Liberty Center, at that time Mongolia’s most active human rights organization. She later served as Adviser to the Prime Minister of Mongolia and subsequently to the President of Mongolia on human rights and civic participation. In 2010 she was elected president of the 90,000 member Democratic Women’s Union. In 2012 she won election to Mongolia’s Parliament and was appointed Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. In 2015 Oyungerel was awarded the Chevalier de L'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture of France for her efforts to end the death penalty in Mongolia and for her work in preserving and protecting Mongolia’s cultural heritage including the much publicized Tyrannosaurus bataar case. Oyungerel is the author of 11 books and co-author of two with Jeffrey. Jeff and Oyuna live in Ulaanbaatar.

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