Former Tibetan political prisoner Ama Adhe passes away

DHARAMSALA, 3 Aug: Former Tibetan political prisoner Ama Adhe who has been bedridden of late has passed away earlier this morning.

Adhe Tapontsang alias Ama Adhe who has spent twenty-seven-years in Chinese prisons in the Chinese occupied Tibet has passed away at the age of 88 at her residence here in the exile headquarters of the Tibetan people.

Condolences poured in thick and fast across the social media platforms from Tibetans and Tibet supporters after the news of her passing spread like wildfire.

“This morning we’ve lost another courageous soul Ama Adhe, a former political prisoner who was imprisoned for 27 years in Chinese prison for resisting China’s occupation. She is such an inspirational figure especially as a female freedom fighter and someone who would constantly try to encourage the younger generation to be active contributors. May you be reborn in Tibetan life and continue your fight for justice,” Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar, Tibetan MP and former President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet said in a Facebook post.

“True embodiment of resilience. Her commitment and sacrifices for Tibet will always be remembered, Rest in power,” read a post on Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)India’s Facebook handle.

Meanwhile, Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for a Free Tibet-India, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet and National Democratic Party of Tibet; the five major Tibetan NGO’s from here organised a candlelight vigil at the main square of Mcleod Ganj to mourn her demise.

Marching through the town at around 5 pm, the participants recited Jangchub Semchok prayer [Generation of Boddhisatva’s heart]:

May the precious bodhicitta

Be awakened where it has not

And where it has already been awakened

May it not diminish but grow and flourish evermore.

Ama Adhe was born in 1932, in Nyarong in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham. She was arrested by the Chinese authorities in 1958 for resisting and protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet. The octogenarian Tibetan political prisoner endured persecution, torture, starvation, and degradation while she was incarcerated until her release in 1985.

She escaped to India in 1987 and has since been living in Dharamsala where she continued to champion the Tibetan freedom movement by encouraging Tibet’s young generation towards the cause and by educating the foreigners who support and are interested in the Tibetan issue.

The senior Tibetan political prisoner has recounted her 27 years imprisonment in Chinese prisons in a book titled Ama Adhe, the Voice that remembers: The Heroic Story of a Woman’s Fight to Free Tibet.

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