An educated Tibetan monk dies mysteriously in a jail of Lithang County

Geshe Phende Gyaltsen

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Dharamshala, India – A Tibetan monk who studied in India and returned home, where he gave teachings to the local population and helped people a lot, but recently he died mysteriously in Lithang prison after being arrested almost a year ago by the Chinese authorities.

According to reliable sources, the Tibetan monk, named Geshe Phende Gyaltsen, died mysteriously in a prison after being arrested by Chinese authorities in Lithang County.

"Geshe Phende Gyaltsen was arrested in the year 2022. After almost a year in detention and prison, he reportedly died on January 26, 2023," the source said, citing information in Tibet.

“Geshe Phende Gyaltsen was a highly educated Tibetan monk and was the top student in his class when he was at Sera Monastery in South India. After graduating from Geshe, he went to Dharamshala, Manali, Darjeeling, Bhutan, etc., for a long spiritual retreat," the source said.

"He returned to his native village, Jongpa, in Lithang County, eastern Tibet, but he did not stay in the village, he stayed on the mountain and did a spiritual retreat there, then the local Tibetans came to visit him and requested him for teaching and later he became very helpful to the Tibetans and became popular among the local Tibetans,” the source told TPI.

"When he became popular among Tibetans, the Chinese authorities did not like it, they tried to eliminate him by giving him different allegations, just like Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Go Sherab Gyatso and other well-known Tibetans, this is the real situation of Tibetans in Tibet," the source added.

According to the report of the CTA, Geshe Phende Gyaltsen was often engaged in giving religious teachings to his disciples. He was also actively involved in the renovation of Shedrub Dhargyeling Monastery in Lithang. In March 2022, he was arbitrarily arrested by local authorities and sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement as a mediator between two parties in the county. The authorities took his body to his hometown of Jongpa, but banned people from visiting him, including restricting internal travel for three days. After three days, the body was transferred to Beijing.

Geshe Phende Gyaltsen was born in Jongpa Township, Lithang County, Eastern Tibet. He came to India in 1985 to study Tantric Buddhism and received the Geshe degree at the Pomra Khangtsen of Sera Mey Monastery in Bylakuppe, South India.