Uyghur Human Rights Project mourns the passing of Tibetan leader Lodi Gyari Rinpoche

For immediate release

October 30, 2018 12:30 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

Uyghur Human Rights Project mourns the passing of Tibetan leader Lodi Gyari Rinpoche. The former Special Envoy to the Dalai Lama in the United States passed away on October 29, 2018 in San Francisco. The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) extends it profound sympathies to his family and to the Tibetan community.

Exiled in 1959, Lodi Gyari Rinpoche was a passionate advocate for the Tibetan people and served with distinction as head of the Tibetan delegation through nine rounds of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue. He also helped found the Tibetan Youth Congress, served as Executive Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, and was appointed foreign minister in the Central Tibetan Administration.

“I met Lodi Gyari Rinpoche in 1993 in Europe when we were working on ways to strengthen Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian advocacy,” said UHRP Director Omer Kanat. Mr. Kanat added: “He understood the difficulties Uyghurs faced under Chinese Communist Party rule and discussed our plight on numerous occasions. He spent his whole life in the service of his people and through his gracious character played an important role in keeping the Tibet issue at the forefront of U.S. China policy. This is sad news and I send my condolences to his family and the Tibetan people.”

Chairman of the UHRP Board, Nury Turkel, said: “I am saddened to learn of the passing of Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, whom I consider a friend and mentor. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with him over the years. He was a seasoned diplomat representing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the United States, an impassioned advocate for the Tibetan people and an unyielding supporter of democratic freedoms around the world. He frequently spoke out against the repression of Uyghurs and in a spirit of solidarity worked with Uyghur human rights advocates. I extend my deepest condolences to Lodi Gyari’s family and the Tibetan people.”