Tibetans launch hunger strike seeking Buddhist teacher's release

Press Trust of India, Nov 15, 2004

Bangalore, India -- Around 150 Tibetans in exile commenced a five-day relay hunger strike here today, seeking the immediate release of Buddhist teacher Tulku Tenzin Delek, who, the Tibetan Youth Congress says, has been "falsely" implicated and sentenced to death by the Chinese government.

The Congress' Vice-President Lobsang Yeshi said here that Delek's relative, Lobsang Dondup, was summarily executed on January 26, 2003.

Yeshi alleged that both Delek and Dondup were charged with being terrorists, supposedly involved in a bomb blast and were unfairly tried and sentenced to death, in violation of all international laws.

Read more: Release Tulku Tenzin Delek

He told reporters here that Delek, one of the most revered Buddhist teachers in Tibet, has been given two years' reprieve, which will end on December two.

Tibetan representatives said Delek is a highly respected Reincarnate Lama, recognised by the Dalai Lama. After six years of religious education in India, Delek returned to Tibet in 1987 to dedicate himself to the sacred task of serving the poor local Tibetians, they said.

Yeshi said the Chinese Government "falsely" implicated Delek on trumped up charges, including `endangering state security' and `illegal construction of monasteries and schools'.

The Congress charged that Delek has been "wrongly condemned, unfairly tried and unlawfully" sentenced to death for crimes he did not commit.