DHARAMSHALA, August 2: In what comes as a relief to Tibetans and activists, the sister and niece of the Tibetan Buddhist master whose suspicious death in a Chinese prison last month shook the Tibetan world have been released on Friday.
Dolkar Lhamo, sister of Tulku Tenzin Delek, and her daughter Nyima Lhamo, were picked by police from a restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan, five days after the death of the philanthropist Lama, who had completed 13 years in prison.
Dolkar had appealed the Chinese authorities through a handwritten appeal to handover her brother’s body to family for final rites. However, the authorities did not handover the body and cremated it within the prison premises under strict surveillance. Sources said Chinese police stopped the monks who were taking Tulku’s remains to his native town of Othok in Lithang and confiscated his ashes.
Tibetan exiles expressed joy at the homecoming of the two women members from Tulku’s family after nearly 15 days of detention without charges.
Students for a Free Tibet welcomed the news saying it recommits to help bring justice for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. “But, we are still seeking answers from the Chinese government following Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s unjust death in prison. The Chinese government has yet to address the international calls of world governments and people of conscience worldwide for an independent investigation into his death. Today, Students for a Free Tibet recommits to help bring justice for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and his family,” Tenzin Dolkar, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, said in a press release on Saturday.
Following news of their arrest, the New York based group carried out protests and campaign drive for the release of the two women in various cities of the world. The group also called on world leaders and governments to press the Chinese government for an independent probe into the “suspicious circumstances” surrounding Tulku’s death.
Chinese authorities are continuing the crackdown against Tibetans in Nyachukha and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s hometown of Lithang, SFT said.