By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, June 6: The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) released an autobiography of Thinley Phuntsok, a former Political prisoner today at Norbu House in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala.
Thinley Phuntsok’s autobiography written in Tibetan and titled ‘Tsam Sen Rhue Pai Shen khok’ was released by his close friend and the Chief Guest at the book launch, Dongchung Ngodup Tsering, who was recently appointed as the Representative of His Holiness at the Bureau office in New Delhi.
Briefing about the publication of the book, Executive Director of TCHRD, Ms Tsering Tsomo said, “With an objective to enlighten about the grave torture and anguish Tibetan political Prisoners endure in Chinese prisons, we have been publishing books about political prisoners in both English and Tibetan as it reflects the brutality of the communist rule in Tibet.”
Thinley Phuntsok, now 82 years old and ailing could not make it to the book launch but in a written message, the former political prisoner stated that “It is my hope that this book will be a living testimony to the suffering of the Tibetan people.”
While launching the book, Dongchung Ngodup Tsering said the autobiographical book will the serve the Tibetan youth in understanding the Tibetan struggle.
“Our association began in 1985 when I visited Tibet to meet with three secret agencies; Thinley Phuntsok was member of one such group. With the all-round experience of living in Tibet after 1959, life in prison and in exile, his autobiography will serve the Tibetan younger generations well in understanding the Tibetan struggle,” Dongchung Ngodup Tsering said.
Thinley Phuntsok was born in 1934. In 1944, he attended one of the English language schools set up by the Tibetan Government in Lhasa. In 1967, he started the ‘Resist Chinese Communism Group’ for which he was imprisoned in 1970 and endured torture and labor camps for several years. In 1974 he formed ‘Patriots Group’ along with Rabgang Gonpo Sonam, a former political prisoner who later died of detention-related torture. Following the arrest of some members of the group in 1983, Phuntsok escaped to India a year later. Thinley Phuntsok served the Tibetan Administration in exile from 1985 until his retirement in 2008 after which he immigrated to the United States to reunite with his family.