Dharamshala: The Central Tibetan Administration held a prayer service today to mourn the demise of Tsedrung Gyaltsen Choden, one among the few surviving officials of Independent Tibet and the Central Tibetan Administration in exile. He passed away on 12 January in the United States.
The prayer service was held at the Kashag Secretariat and was attended by Sikyong Penpa Tsering, Kalon Gyari Dolma, Kalon Tharlam Dolma and Kalon Norzin Dolma of the 16th Kashag.
The prayer service was also attended by Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering of the Tibetan Parliament in exile; pro-tem Chief Justice Commissioner Karma Dadul and Justice Commissioner Tenzin Lungtok of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, and Auditor General Arya Pema Dadul of the Central Tibetan Administration. The general staff of the Central Tibetan Administration could not take part in the prayer service as the Tibetan administration is under a work from home mandate due to a surge in Covid cases.
Delivering the eulogy for the deceased, Sikyong Penpa Tsering said: “We are gathered here today to mourn the demise of Kungo Gyaltsen Choden la. He served the Tibetan government from a young age. After coming into exile, he served the exile government in various capacities for the entirety of his life. He was one of the longest serving Tibetan civil servants and we offer our deepest condolences to his family members. We believe that he has lived a truly meaningful life serving the Tibetan people and fulfilling the aspirations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
Brief Biography of Gyaltsen Choden:
Tsedrung Gyaltsen Choden was born in 1920 at Medo Gongkar near Lhasa. He was third among the four children born to father Jangchup Phuntsok and mother Kelsang Dolma. He started his schooling from 1930. In 1935, he joined Tashi Lhunpo monastery to study Buddhist theology and philosophy.
In 1946, he was selected as an accountant (Tsedrung). He came into exile in 1959. In 1964, he was appointed as the education secretary and took charge of editing and printing the biography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1967, he served as the cashier cum head of home division at the Bureau of HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi. In 1969, he was appointed as the secretary of Home Department and served as the settlement officer of Kollegal Settlement from 1976. From 1980, he served as the settlement officer of Lugsam Samdupling settlement. In 1982, he was appointed as the settlement officer of Doeguling settlement in Mundgod and in 1989, he was appointed as the principal of CST Mundgod. He retired from active service in 1992.