Tibetans appeal for India's support for release of Delek Lama

Press Trust of India, November 14, 2004

Kolkata, India -- The North-East Zonal Tibetan Youth Congress Committee today sought India's support in securing the release of Tulku Tenzin Delek, a highly respected lama who has been sentenced to death by the Chinese authorities.

''As India is culturally, geographically and in religious terms closely related to Tibet and being the world's biggest democracy, it needs to play a vital role in solving the Tibetan crisis and helping Tibetans get their fundamental human rights.

''So we appeal to your highness to help and support us in releasing Tulku Tenzin Delek from prison by pressuring the Chinese government,'' the Committee said in a memorandum to President A P J Abdul Kalam.

Delek was sentenced to death by the Chinese authorities on December two, 2002 with a two-year reprieve. The suspension of his sentence ends on December two, this year.

Pointing out that Delek was given the title of 'Tulku' or reincarnate lama by none other than the Dalai Lama, the memorandum said, ''the countdown has begun and as the clock ticks unceasingly, there is precious little time left to try and save his life.'' Committee coordinator Tsering Dhundup said it was also sending a memorandum to the United Nation Secretary-General Kofi Annan seeking the world body's intervention in seeking Delek's release.

Asked whether he was hopeful that the Committee would be able to bring in pressure on the Chinese authorities in releasing Delek, Dhundup said, ''I am. China will hold the Olympics in 2008 and is now anxious to show its human face.''