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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Nephew of Dalai Lama killed by SUV during Walk for Tibet in Florida

February 18, 2011

Palm Coast, Fla.— The Associated Press

Published Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 1:39AM EST

The Dalai Lama's nephew was killed along a Florida coastal highway
during one of his long treks to bring awareness to the Tibetan struggle
for independence from China, officials said.
Jigme K. Norbu was hit after dark Monday on the side of the unlit
highway by an SUV. A Highway Patrol accident report said Norbu, 45, was
walking on the white line in the same direction as traffic, on the
southbound side of a highway that runs the length of the state's
Atlantic coast.

The driver, 31-year-old Keith R. O'Dell of Palm Coast, was not charged.
He and a passenger, his 5-year-old son, were not injured.
Police released few other details. Mr. Norbu, who lived in Bloomington,
Ind., and was active in a Tibetan rights group there, had started with
others Monday on a Valentine's Day “Walk for Tibet” meant to cover some
300 miles from St. Augustine south to West Palm Beach, according to his
group, Ambassadors For World Peace.
Mr. Norbu was dead when emergency services arrived at the scene, about
25 miles south of St. Augustine on State Highway A1A, the report said.
A phone listing for the driver could not immediately be found.
On Tuesday, a vase holding seven roses stood at the accident site on the
side of the two-lane highway. There are no street lights on the side of
the road where Mr. Norbu was walking. A bike path runs along the other
side of the street, in front of a community center.
“It is pitch dark, pitch dark. You can't see anything. There is no
illumination here,” said 60-year-old Debbie Clark, who lives a half mile
from where Mr. Norbu was killed.
Mr. Norbu, the son of the Dalai Lama's late brother, Taktser Rinpoche,
has done similar walks several other times, including 900 miles in 2009
from Indiana to New York.
That walk marked the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibetan rebellion
against Chinese rule that resulted in the exile of his uncle, who is
Tibet's top spiritual leader.
In northern India, officials at the Dalai Lama's office in Dharmsala
could not immediately be reached and the Tibetan government-in-exile had
not commented as of late Tuesday.
Mr. Norbu's late father was a high lama who was abbot of a monastery
when the Chinese invaded. The brothers fled into exile following the
1959 uprising.
Mr. Rinpoche, who died in September 2008 at 86, was a professor of
Tibetan studies at Indiana University in Bloomington while serving as
the Dalai Lama's U.S. representative.
The Dalai Lama has visited Bloomington several times. The city about 50
miles southwest of Indianapolis is home to the Tibetan Mongolian
Buddhist Cultural Center and Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple.
China claims Tibet as part of its territory, but many Tibetans say
Chinese rule deprives them of religious freedom. Beijing accuses the
Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan autonomy and fomenting anti-Chinese
protests.

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