Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

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Thupten with Tenzin Delek image

Lithang Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche or Tenzing Deleg (Tibetan : བསྟན་འཛིན་བདེ་ལེགས་,  Wylie : Bstan 'dzin bde legs) (1950 – 12 July 2015) was a Tibetan Buddhist leader from Garze, Sichuan. He was born in Lithang, Tibet. He was arrested on April 7, 2002 during a raid on Jamyang Choekhorling in Garze, Sichuan, China. He was accused of being involved in a bomb attack on April 3, 2002 on the central square of Sichuan's provincial capital, Chengdu. [1] [2]

Tibetan alphabet abugida used to write the Tibetic languages and others

The Tibetan alphabet is an abugida used to write the Tibetic languages such as Tibetan, as well as Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Ladakhi, and sometimes Balti. The printed form of the alphabet is called uchen script while the hand-written cursive form used in everyday writing is called umê script.

Wylie transliteration

The Wylie transliteration scheme is a method for transliterating Tibetan script using only the letters available on a typical English language typewriter. It bears the name of Turrell V. Wylie, who described the scheme in an article, A Standard System of Tibetan Transcription, published in 1959. It has subsequently become a standard transliteration scheme in Tibetan studies, especially in the United States.

Buddhism World religion, founded by the Buddha

Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.


He was convicted for alleged involvement in a series of unsolved bombings in his region by the Chinese authorities and sentenced to death in December 2002 along with Lobsang Dhondup, a 28-year-old assistant of his. Lobsang was executed almost immediately in late January 2003, [3] marking the first execution of a Tibetan for political crimes in 20 years. Tenzin Delek's trial began on November 29, 2002 before the Local Court in Garze and was sentenced to death with a two-year execution adjournment. Overseas human rights groups and United Nations human rights experts protested that the case against him was seriously flawed, that he did not receive a fair trial, and was mistreated in detention. [3]

Human rights Inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled

Human rights are "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled" Examples of rights and freedoms which are often thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property, freedom of expression, pursuit of happiness and equality before the law; and social, cultural and economic rights, including the right to participate in science and culture, the right to work, and the right to education.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on 26 January 2005. Many overseas advocates of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche continued to fight for a retrial.

Life imprisonment is any sentence of imprisonment for a crime under which convicted persons are to remain in prison either for the rest of their natural life or until paroled. Crimes for which, in some countries, a person could receive this sentence include murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, blasphemy, apostasy, terrorism, severe child abuse, rape, child rape, espionage, treason, high treason, drug dealing, drug trafficking, drug possession, human trafficking, severe cases of fraud, severe cases of financial crimes, aggravated criminal damage in English law, and aggravated cases of arson, kidnapping, burglary, or robbery which result in death or grievous bodily harm, piracy, aircraft hijacking, and in certain cases genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, certain war crimes or any three felonies in case of three strikes law. Life imprisonment can also be imposed, in certain countries, for traffic offenses causing death. The life sentence does not exist in all countries, and Portugal was the first to abolish life imprisonment, in 1884.

Tenzin Delek is also widely known for working to develop social, medical, educational and religious institutions for Tibetan nomads in eastern Tibet, as an advocate for environmental conservation in the face of indiscriminate logging and mining projects, and as a mediator between Tibetans and Chinese. [4]

In November 2009, 40,000 Tibetans in Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's home area signed a petition asking for a re-trial. They staged a hunger strike at the county seat of Lithang for a few days, which led to the temporary arrest of about 70 Tibetans. [5]

He died on 12 July 2015 in Chengdu, China at the age of 65. [6] Prior to his death Tibetans and rights groups had called for his release on medical parole. [7] His death was followed by calls for the release of his body in order to determine the cause of death and carry out traditional funeral rites; one protest was met by China's security forces opening fire, injuring several Tibetans. [8] Chinese authorities cremated the body without an autopsy. [9]

Chengdu Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Sichuan, Peoples Republic of China

Chengdu, formerly romanized as Chengtu, is a sub-provincial city which serves as the capital of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China. It is one of the three most populous cities in Western China, the other two being Chongqing and Xi'an. As of 2014, the administrative area housed 14,427,500 inhabitants, with an urban population of 10,152,632. At the time of the 2010 census, Chengdu was the 5th-most populous agglomeration in China, with 10,484,996 inhabitants in the built-up area including Xinjin County and Deyang's Guanghan City. Chengdu is also considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

China State in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Statement by Tenzin Delek

"Since I am a Tibetan, I have always been sincere and devoted to the interests and well-being of Tibetan people. That is the real reason why the Chinese do not like me and framed me. That is why they are going to take my precious life even though I am innocent." [4] [10]

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  1. Tibetan Monk: Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche International Society for Human Rights.
  2. Miscarriage of Justice? The trial of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche and related arrests Amnesty International, 30 September, 2009.
  3. 1 2 Petition to Save Tibetan Monk Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, Prisoner in China AsiaNews, 29 January, 2007.
  4. 1 2 Free Tibetan Heroes: Tenzin Delek Rinpoche International Tibet Network.
  5. Free Tibetan Heroes: Tenzin Delek Rinpoche International Tibet Network.
  6. Wee, Sui-Lee (13 July 2015). "High-profile Tibetan monk dies in prison in China". Reuters. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  7. Watt, Louise (14 July 2015). "Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche dies in Chinese prison". AP. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  8. Segalov, Michael (14 July 2015). "Chinese police 'open fire, beat protesters and use tear gas' on Tibetan activists". The Independent. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  9. "China Cremates Prominent Tibetan Monk Against Family's Wishes". The New York Times. Reuters. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2015. Chinese authorities cremated the body of a prominent Tibetan monk on Thursday, his sister said, denying family members custody of his remains amid suspicions over the cause of his death
  10. Transcript of recording of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche obtained from the detention center in Dartsedo, the capital of Kardze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, on January 20, 2003. Radio Free Asia received the recording the following morning.