Prominent Tibetan monk jailed for life by China has died

A prominent Tibetan Buddhist monk who had completed his monastic education in India has died recently after he was arrested and jailed for life by Chinese police in a traditionally Tibetan area of Sichuan Province last year, said the exile Tibetan administration on its website Feb 2.

The monk, Geshe Phende Gyaltsen, 56, was arrested by Chinese police in Lithang (Chinese: Litang) County of Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture in Mar 2022 while meditating in a dispute between two parties in the country, the report said.

It was not clear what the dispute was about and which parties were involved in it. The exact reason why the monk was arrested and given a life sentence is also not clear.

He was stated to have died on Jan 26 due to unknown ill-health, the report said.

The authorities initially transferred the monk’s remains to his native village of Gyongpa in Lithang County, where local Tibetans were banned from visiting it with the imposition of restrictions on their movement for three days. The body was then stated to have been shifted to Beijing.

Geshe Phende Gyaltsen had travelled to India in 1985 and joined Sera Mey Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka state, where he earned his Geshe Degree.

He was then stated to have travelled to Dharamshala, Manali, Darjeeling, Bhutan etc on a prolonged spiritual retreat before returning to Tibet to give religious teachings.

He was also stated to be actively engaged in renovating the Shedrub Dhargyeling Monastery in Lithang.

News Desk

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