DHARAMSALA, Jan 19: The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet(ICT) has decided to rename its Tibetan Empowerment programs after His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s late special envoy Lodi Gyari Rinpoche.
The Boards of the ICT have decided to name all its six Tibetan empowerment programs as the Lodi Gyari Tibetan Empowerment Program to honour his contribution and memory, the ICT Board declared.
ICT’s Lodi Gyari Tibetan Empowerment Programs include the Tibetan Youth Leadership Program; The Rowell Fund for Tibet; Tibet Lobby Day; Tibetan Parliamentarians Program in Europe; and humanitarian assistance to the Tibetans in exile and Political Prisoners Rehabilitation Program.
The seasoned statesman served as the Executive Chairman of the Board of ICT until his retirement in June 2014 and by dedicating ICT’s programs aimed at benefiting the Tibetan people to the memory of Mr Gyari, the ICT maintained that it is committing itself to continue his work for the empowerment of the Tibetan people, in Tibet as well as in exile.
Gyari Rinpoche, as he was affectionately called, passed away at the age of 69 on Oct 29, 2018, at a hospital in San Francisco, US.
Mr Gyari had served in the senior-most positions in the Tibetan administration in exile. At the age of 30, he was elected as the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and was one of the youngest people to be appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Kashag (the Tibetan Cabinet).
After being appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to lead negotiations with the Chinese government, Mr Gyari conducted nine rounds of high-level talks with the Chinese counterparts between 2002- 2010 and was instrumental in maintaining a broad international interest and support for the dialogue process.
In May 2012, citing “utter lack of progress in the talks and increased repression inside Tibet” Mr Lodi Gyari resigned as the Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Lodi Gyari Rinpoche was also the co-founder of the Tibetan Youth Congress and for over a quarter century, he served in various capacities at the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). Gyari Rinpoche joined the ICT in 1991 and after stepping down from the presidency in 1999, Lodi Gyari Rinpoche was born in Nyarong in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham in 1949. He was recognized as the reincarnation of a Buddhist master of the Nyingma lineage, named Khenchen Jampal Dewé Nyima from Lumorap Monastery in Tibet. After the Chinese occupation of Tibet, he fled with his family into exile in India in 1959.