Former political prisoner passes away at 79 in Dharamshala

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Former political prisoner Tenzin Choedak in an undated photo (Facebook)
Former political prisoner Tenzin Choedak in an undated photo (Facebook)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, July 28: Former political prisoner, Ven. Tenzin Choedak, 79, passed away on Sunday morning at Delek Hospital in Dharamshala. He was born in Driru County, Nagchu prefecture in Eastern Tibet in 1941. 

He was enrolled in the Rabten Monastery to become an ordained monk at the age of 10. After the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Tenzin Chodak took part in a mass demonstration in Driru County in 1968 where he was arrested and imprisoned for 12 years. 

Ven. Chodak was released in September 1981 after undergoing harsh treatment in a Chinese prison. He lived as a Buddhist practitioner committed towards revival and preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and worked tirelessly to revive the monastery in Driru and others in Lhasa. After escaping to India for exile in 1996, he dedicated his years in Buddhist retreat and practices. 

The Guchusum Movement Association of Tibet expressed sadness over his demise, “[We are] saddened by the demise of a former Tibetan political prisoner and a senior member of the organization. However, the legacy left by such a patriot as he will always be remembered and revered.”

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