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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Tibetan exiles hold Thumbprint Campaign for Trulku Tenzin Delek's release

January 28, 2010

January 27, 2010

Dharamsala, January 27 -- Students for a free
Tibet, India joined Tibetans and supporters
throughout the world yesterday in a Thumbprint
Campaign in solidarity with Tibetans in Nyakchuka
County who signed a petition calling for the
release of Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

On 2 December 2002, the Kardze Intermediate
People's Court in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture, Sichuan Province, sentenced Lobsang
Dhondup, a relative of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, to
death for "inciting separatism", "causing
explosions" and "illegal possession of guns and
ammunition". He was executed on January 26, 2003,
despite huge international outcry.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche received a death sentence
with a two year reprieve for "causing explosions"
and "inciting separatism". Tenzin Delek Rinpoche,
based at a monastery in nomad-dominated Othok,
was granted a two-year reprieve, then had his
sentence commuted to life on January 26, 2005.

"What happened on 26th January, 2005 ascertains
the strength of global grassroots organizing. The
pressure from the international community pushed
the Chinese authorities into commuting Tenzin
Delek Rinpoche’s death sentence to life
imprisonment.” said Tenzin Choeying, National
Director of Students for a free Tibet, India. "We
should continue to pressurize the Chinese government for his release."

In June 2009, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche told a
community member who visited him in prison, "I am
not guilty, please appeal for justice for all people together and do everything
possible to help me overturn the verdict”.
Following his appeal, thousands of Tibetans in
his community signed petitions -- many signatures
being in the form of thumbprints -- demanding justice for their leader.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a revered philanthropist
and a religious leader as well as a visionary and
consistent advocate of Tibetan identity and culture.

"It is such an irony for China, who puts so much
effort to seek global acceptance as a world
superpower, on the other hand, is threatened by
the existence of a Tibetan monk in Tibet” said
Dhondup Gyalpo, one of the volunteers of Students
for a free Tibet. “The Chinese authority is
insecure because Tenzin Delek Rinpoche gained
huge popularity amongst Tibetans and Chinese
because of his goodwill towards Tibetan cultural
and environmental preservation."

SFT, headquartered in New York, is a
chapter-based network of young people and
activists around the world working for free Tibet and Tibetan independence.
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