Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Kham Nalanda Tegchen Jachu Choling( monastery) in Thakarma, Nyachu District, Kham, eastern Tibet. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India – Chinese authorities ordered Tibetans to write the histories of the monasteries in the Nyachu District, Kham, eastern Tibet, but in the end, the authorities blocked the history and name of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche from the history of the monastery, despite the fact that he rebuilt it.

According to a reliable source, Chinese authorities in Nyachu District ordered Tibetan Buddhist Monks to write histories of around 30 Monasteries in the District, including Kham Nalanda Tegchen Jachu Choling(ཁམས་ན་ལེནྡྲ་ཐེག་ཆེན་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཆོས་གླིང་།), that rebuilt by the late Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. However, the Chinese authorities do not allow local Tibetans to discuss and write about Rinpoche's history in the monastery's history.

“In order to discuss and write about the history of Kham Nalanda Tegchen Jachu Choling, local Tibetans have created a Wechat group (social media app) with about 500 members. In this group, there are important people such as Rinpoche, Geshe, young educated university students, and local Tibetans from both inside and outside Tibet,” said a Tibetan monk, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“They discussed a lot about Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's long-term service to religion, education, and the environment in Tibet, but the Chinese authorities shut down the Wechat group in October 2021, saying it violated the laws and regulations of the Chinese constitution,” he added.

“ In that history, which the Chinese authorities ordered them to write, there is only a brief history of Kham Nalanda Jachu Choling and mentions the contributions of a few lamas, Geshes and Khenpos to the monastery, but no mention of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's name, even though Rinpoche rebuilt the monastery in 1988," he said.

The original name of Kham Nalanda Jachu Choling’s in Ngachu was Tashi Dharjee Ling built by Rinpoche's teacher, Yongzen Nawang Choeden. After Tenzin Delek Rinpoche returned from India in 1987, Rinpoche rebuilt the Monastery and named Kham Nalanda Jachu Choling.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche built nine monasteries in Ngachu District, including Kham Nalanda Jachu Choling, this is the largest Monastery among the Monasteries.

Throughout his life, Rinpoche had worked to protect Tibetan culture and religion from the onslaught of repressive Chinese policies. He had also strived to safeguard Tibet's fragile environment by advocating against illegal mining and pollution of Tibetan river waters.

In 2002, in what was claimed to be a politically motivated charge, Rinpoche was arrested by Chinese authorities for his alleged involvement in a bomb blast that occurred in Chengdu city. The real reason for his arrest by Chinese authorities, however, is believed to be his growing popularity among the public and his staunch loyalty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on December 2, 2002. This charge was laid irrespective of the fact that Rinpoche had proved his innocence against all the Chinese allegations.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a highly respected Tibetan spiritual teacher and one of the most prominent Tibetan political prisoners, reportedly died on July 12, 2015, during his twenty-year incarceration in a Chinese prison.

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