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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Remembering Raymond Yee - Dedicated Tibet Activist and CTC Board member

December 31, 2020

Vancouver, March 18, 2021.  With our deepest regret, we announce the tragic loss of our longstanding Board member, Raymond Yee, who died suddenly on March 15, 2021 in Vancouver.  The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) Board of Directors, staff, and community of supporters is deeply saddened by the news and we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Ray's wife Janet, his three children and his extended family members. 

Ray was deeply affected by his experience meeting Tibetans while traveling in China, India and Nepal during the early 1990's.  Upon his return to Canada, Ray became a member of the CTC in 1994 and assumed various responsibilities within the organization.  He joined the Board of Directors in 2007 and in that leadership capacity he became an integral part of the Tibet resettlement initiative which eventually welcomed 1000 Tibetans from India into Canada.  

Ray's dedication to the Tibetan cause was evident in his heartfelt public address on the occasion of International Human Rights Day in December 2020.  Emphasizing the importance of strong Canadian support for Tibet, he said, "As a Canadian of Chinese descent, I would be very proud if Canada could play a central role in encouraging and supporting a renewal of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue".

" Ray was a deeply valued member of the Canada Tibet Team. It is an understatement to say that he will be missed. His work and unflagging support to the cause of justice and human rights in Tibet is a tribute to the deeply humanistic values that you all lived and which manifested itself in an active connection with the outdoors and the environment physical, social and spiritual.  We will miss Ray's quiet approach to issues, his readiness to put his shoulders to the wheel as required and tirelessly being there through thick and thin to advance our common purpose. There are not many that can persist over time and renew the commitment and support. He brought so many assets to the work but was always modest about himself. A rare quality.” said Samphe Lhalungpa, Chairperson of the CTC Board of Directors. 

CTC Executive Director, Sherap Therchin, said, "It was an honour for me to have had the chance to work with Ray. He was always deeply concerned about human rights situations in Tibet and helped the CTC to promote the Tibetan people's human rights and democratic freedoms. He was the purest soul I have ever met in my life. I always noticed a sense of compassion, humanity, and altruism in all his expressions and work. He will be a constant inspiration to me, and his memory will encourage me to always put humanity and compassion first."

Our Vancouver based board member Mati Bernabei remembers Ray as a deeply compassionate community builder who worked tirelessly toward facilitating projects that support individuals and the community as a whole: “He was a genuine friend to everyone in the CTC and the Tibetan community, and enthusiastically liaised with other human rights groups. He was central to CTC’s advocacy for Tibet, and to the care and support of recent immigrants who settled in BC via the Tibetan Resettlement Project. He was an integral part of Tibetan community, along with his family. His children grew up enjoying soccer and festivals with Tibetan children, in addition to joining countless rallies and vigils in support of Tibetan rights and freedoms. Ray did not just walk the talk: He lived the life of participatory community building and social justice advocacy. We are devastated by his passing.” 

The CTC Vice-Chair, Luisa Durante, remembers Ray as an all around humane, kindhearted and lovely human being. "I am grateful to have worked alongside him" she said, "He was an example of what it is to serve from a place of compassion, justice and peace. His spirit will carry on through our continued work."

Pema Lektsog, a  CTC board member from Calgary, said “I  had the pleasure of getting to know Ray through our mutual role on the CTC Board. As a Tibetan, it was extremely inspiring to see someone like Ray - who was so committed and dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort to fight for the Tibetan cause. Ray was always very collaborative, respectful, compassionate, patient and wiling to contribute his talents towards CTC’s needs like his important work on our website. Ray will be deeply missed and has left a very meaningful impact on me and I’m sure many, many others who had the pleasure of knowing him. We will not forget his tireless work for Tibet! “ 

We will all remember Ray both as a highly dedicated and compassionate person, and as our friend.   He will be greatly missed. 

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