Former Tibetan political prisoner Tenzin Choedak passes away

DHARAMSALA 27 July: Former Tibetan political prisoner Ven Tenzin Choedak who has been hospitalised for nearly seven months has passed away on Sunday morning.

The Tibetan monk who spent over 11 years in various Chinese prison and concentration camps in the Chinese occupied Tibet, where he was extensively tortured, has passed away at the age of 79 at the Delek Hospital here in Dharamsala after his health deteriorated after the lengthy hospitalisation.

“Gen Tenzin Choedak is now in a high-meditative state- thukdam– after his passing,” a source in the know told Tibet Express.

Ven Tenzin was born in 1941 in Driru County, in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham and became an ordained Buddhist monk at 10 at Rabten monastery in the region.

After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he took part in the mass uprising against the Chinese forces in 1969 from Diru.

In September 1969, he was arrested by the Chinese authorities, following which he confined in various Chinese prison and concentration camps from 1969-1981 until his release. He was released from the prison by the Chinese authorities in April 1981.

Following his release, he worked tirelessly in rebuilding monasteries in his hometown that were destroyed by the Chinese forces. 

He escaped to India in 1996 and has been living in Dharamsala, the exile headquarters ever since. Ven Choedak has authored a book in Tibetan; a chronicle of his life. The book was published in 2004.

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