TYC Statement on the death of Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Dharamshala July 13
Tibetan Youth Congress the largest pro-independece Tibetan organization in exile expresses shock and sadness on the news of the death of Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. TYC states that, “Rinpoche was a true Tibetan hero sacrificing his life for the people and cause of Tibet”, and demands “a clear detailed explanation on the circumstance leading to his demise from the Chinese Government.”

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s health has been deteriorating over many years but China denied him medical care and failed to respond to the application for medical parole, which was made in 2014. He was not only a simple monk but also an advocate and activist for social and religious rights and reforms, as well as environmental protection. Throughout his time in prison Tulku Tenzin Delek had consistently stated his innocence and in an unprecedented act of devotion and belief in his innocence, 40,000 Tibetans in Tibet risked their security in 2009 by signing a petition demanding justice for their teacher.

Local Tibetans have widely believed that he was wrongfully arrested and convicted in 2002 primarily because he was becoming a respected and popular champion of Tibetan interests which the local Chinese Communist Party saw as a challenge to its authority. Zhou Yongkang, former member of China’s 17th Politburo Standing Committee and the country’s powerful security chief who was recently convicted for abuse of power was the Party boss in Tibet at the time of Tulku Tenzin Delek’s arrest and many believe that Zhou had a hand in his detention.

TYC President Tenzing Jigme said that, “todays unfortunate news clearly reaffirms TYC’s long standing view that the Chinese communist government cannot be trusted and therefore we have to step up and intensify our campaigns for the freedom of our nation and our people.” The death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche should serve as a reminder for all of us that the Chinese government will never hand us our freedom effortlessly but that we have to fight to win back our freedom.

Tibetan Youth Congress demands the Chinese government to:
– Officially confirm Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death and demand an enquiry into the circumstances of his death. He was a political prisoner at the top of the priority listing for a number of countries; his passing must be officially acknowledged and the causes investigated.
– Support the family’s request for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s body to be returned to them, so that traditional Tibetan burial rites can be carried out.

Tulku Tenzin Delek