Canberra: Nyima Lhamo, niece of late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche testified before the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Australian parliament yesterday. Honorable Kevin Andrews, member of the Liberal Party and former Australian minister for social services and defense, chaired the hearing.
Late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a widely respected Tibetan Buddhist religious teacher, an environmentalist and social advocate died in Chinese prison in Tibet on 12 July 2015 during 13th year of detainment. He was serving a life sentence that had been handed down on trumped-up charges without a fair trial.
While recounting the events that led to arbitrary arrest on trumped up charges, detention and death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche in prison, Nyima Lhamo called on the committee to question China about the circumstances surrounding the death of her uncle.
The distress and torment that her family and local Tibetan community had been subjected to since the arrest of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is “just one of the many instances”, that Tibetan families and political prisoners continued to endure under Chinese occupation in Tibet today, said Nyima Lhamo.
Speaking about the wave of self-immolation protests that swept Tibet since 2009, Nyima Lhamo stated, “I attempted suicide” with the hope that this would bring international community’s attention towards the sufferings of the Tibetan people that “we had been undergoing”. Due to absence of avenues for people inside Tibet to express grievances and resentments against the Chinese repression, “many Tibetans are self immolating”, added Nyima.
Honorable Kevin Andrews, the Chairperson, commended Nyima’s courage and assured his continued support for Tibetans and attention on situation in Tibet.
Honorable Meryln Swanson, MP, Labor Party of Australia, offered condolences to Nyima and her family in a meeting held separately. She admired courage and sacrifice that Nyima has made for the “greater cause”.
Nyima Lhamo, niece of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is currently on a ten-day advocacy tour to Australia for international support to question China about the circumstances that led to the death of her uncle in Chinese prison.
– Report filed by Office of Tibet, Australia –