By Tenzin Sangmo
Phayul Photo: T Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 5: Friends and family of late Tsewang Norbu, an activist and a journalist, held a memorial gathering at the Club House, McLeod Ganj at 5:30 pm today.
The gathering was attended by several members of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, representatives of the Tibetan NGOs and Dharamshala settlement officer, among others.
Norbu la passed away on August 16 in Berlin, Germany.
Two of Norbu’s four sisters and wife were present to pay their respect. Ingrid, Norbu’s wife of 21 years, spoke about the person that he was; someone “who loved cats, black forest cake, Formula One race and never felt cold.”
Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok recounted the inception of their acquaintance from the late 90’s when he was himself working as the president of National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT). He reminisced that the deceased was a kind human being among other qualities and never missed an International Tibet Support Group Conference, held every three years, wherever it may be.
Norbu la did his schooling from Central School for Tibetan, Mussoorie and passed high school in 1969. He then secured a BA honors degree from St. Stephen’s college, Delhi.
He moved to Germany in 1973.
Tashi Tsering, historian and director of Amnye Machen, added that Norbu’s classmates from St. Stephen’s were all ministers in the previous Congress government, the likes of Shashi Tharoor and Kabil Sibal.
Norbu la went on to found Tibet Initiative Deutschland, whose website wrote post his demise, “ He was not only the heart of our organization but of the Tibet movement in Germany and beyond.”
It was spelt out at the gathering that the Tibetans are increasingly losing the luminaries of the first generation.
Jamyang Norbu, in his latest blog post titled “First Seed of a Future Tibet” called Norbu a self-made journalist and concluded “I have lost another comrade, another friend.”
Gyeshe Monlam Tharchin, a member of parliament also present at the gathering said he feels it is the Tibetans’ responsibility to acknowledge the life long effort of such individual. “Norbu la has been a staunch advocate of Rangzen, never flinching in the face of anything.”
Tenzin Tsundue, one of the organizers of the gathering, concluded the memorial by reading a letter that the deceased sent when he couldn’t attend the 2015 Rangzen conference. It reads, “The future status of Tibet as outlined in the MNWA may be the only and realistic approach a the level of policy objectives but as a strategy to bring China to the table it was a disaster. Now that the Tibetan side has given up all her trump cards even before entering into any kind of negotiation, why then should China be coerced to make any concessions?”