Tibetans and foreigners carry out a candle-light vigil in Dharamshala to condemn the death of former political prisoner Jampa Pelsang. (Phayul Photo/Norbu Wangyal)
Dharamshala, June 3 – A candle-light vigil was carried out by Tibetans in the exile seat of Dharamshala, this evening, condemning the death of Jampa Pelsang, who died shortly after serving a 15-year prison term.
Exile sources confirm that Jampa Pelsang, a monk of Gaden Monastery, succumbed to fatal injuries sustained during his long prison term in Drapchi and Chushul prisons on May 23 at his residence. Jampa was reportedly in critical condition when released on May 6 and failed to respond to immediate medical treatment by his family.
Jampa Pelsang, born in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, was arrested on May 6, 1996 for staging a protest against the implementation of “patriotic reeducation” and demanding the removal of communist party officials from the monastery.
Organisers of the candle-light vigil - the five major NGOs in the exile community - in a joint statement alerted all the Tibetan people to ‘stand united to fight the continued injustices meted out to Tibetan people inside Tibet and seek the support of the international community to condemn the government of China for its atrocities and blatant disregard to human life’.
Lobsang Choegyal, former political prisoner and close associate of Jampa Pelsang pays an emotional tribute to his deceased friend. (Phayul Photo/Norbu Wangyal)
Speaking to a crowd of Tibetans and foreigners at Tsug-la Khang, Lobsang Choegyal, a close friend and associate of Jampa Pelsang recollected the peaceful protest they carried out in the monastery and the decades of brutal torture and humiliation Jampa suffered following an unfair trial.
“Jampa Pelsang will never be forgotten. His courage and determination to fight for justice and freedom will continue to inspire generations of Tibetans”, Lobsang said.
Jampa Pelsang’s death comes amidst escalating tensions in Kirti monastery, Ngaba where the monks have been subjected to rigorous “patriotic reeducation”.