By Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 16: Late Kasur Lodi Gyari Rinpoche’s Kuphung (body) will be cremated Sunday at Mindrolling monastery, Clementown, where it was flown from San Francisco on November 5. It was received by a huge crowd present to pay their respect.
Rinpoche passed away at 69 on October 29, 2018 in California, US. Families, dignitaries and well-wishers are already in Dehradun to attend the cremation. Hollywood star and longtime Tibet supporter Richard Gere and President of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Matteo Meccaci are reportedly attending the cremation. The Governor of Uttrakhand Baby Rani Maurya, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and current MP Ramesh Pokhriyal are expected to attend, among Indian dignitaries.
“Recognized as the incarnation of the great Jampal Dewe’s Nyima and born as a cousin of Kyabje Mindroling Tirche, Gyari Rinpoche shared a special connection with Mindrolling all his life,” says the monastery’s website.
CTA’s Desung (Security) Kalon Phagpa Tsering Labrang and the Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok are attending to pay respects. Lodi Gyari Rinpoche served as the Special Envoy for the Dalai Lama, Foreign Minister in the CTA, Executive Chairman of ICT and was a co-founder of Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) among many other positions.
Gyari Rinpoche had reached out to the current president of TYC Tenzing Jigme when the organization was going through some tough times in the early part of his tenure. The advice, Jigme said, was invaluable and that he will always remember him for his straightforward attitude and as a person who always held steadfast to his principles.
Already in Dehradun to attend the cremation, Jigme stated, “I am here to pay respect and honour Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, a true Tibetan warrior on behalf of TYC. He was one of the founding members of TYC but more importantly, his huge role in the Tibetan Freedom Struggle is immense. I salute him for his contributions and dedication to the Tibet cause.” All the chapters of the NGO have been holding a prayer vigil for the deceased.
The settlement officer of Dhondupling, Clementown, Ugyen Jigme said they have a meeting planned for tomorrow to further sort out the preparation. The settlement officers of Lhakhanwala, Paonta Choelsum, Gapa Tibetan Society - Kamrao, Kham Khatok - Sataun, Sakya Tibetan Society Puruwalla, Dekyiling and head of Lingtsang- Manduwala and Rajpur will all be in attendance along with representatives from TCV head office and Rinpoches.
“He was the Chanakya of Tibet,” a saddened Vijay Kranti, Indian Journalist deeply engaged with Tibetan issue said on a call. “There are permanent missions of all the countries everywhere but he was the only diplomat who knew how diplomacy functions and has personal access to all the diplomats and decision makers."
Kranti, who is going to attend the cremation with his wife concluded, “His reach was till White House, across the presidents of both parties. He was the best diplomat Tibet can ever produce.”
Democratic Senator from the state of CA and a longtime supporter of Tibet, Dianne Feinstein, introduced a new bill titled S.RES.686 on November 13th, a resolution honouring the life, accomplishments, and legacy of Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, co-sponsored by a Democrat.
According to policrum.com, there are currently no amendments and none of the bill’s cosponsors has withdrawn their support so far.
Feinstein has introduced other bills in the past supporting Tibet. She is also known to have carried three letters to President Jiang Zemin from the Dalai Lama requesting a face-to-face meeting in the 1990’s.