(TibetanReview.net, Oct29’21) – Six years after his death in prison under highly questionable circumstances after a false conviction, Chinese authorities have banned all public mentions of Tulku Tenzin Delek, a 65-year-old respected religious figure, environmental activist and philanthropist in the traditional Tibetan region of what is now part of China’s Sichuan Province. He was also said to have been highly popular among local Tibetans for promoting their wellbeing and the preservation of Tibet’s language and culture.
The authorities have banned all public discussions on him, are removing him from official religious histories, and have shut down an online chat group set up in his memory, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Oct 28, citing Tibetan sources. Several of the chat group’s nearly 500 members were stated to have been summoned for questioning by police.
Tulku Tenzin Delek, who was known for his veneration for the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader despised by China, died under suspicious circumstances on Jul 12, 2015. He was into the 13th of his 22-year jail sentence on a false charge of bombing a public square in Sichuan’s capital Chengdu in Apr 2002 when he died.
The report cited an exile Tibetan with local contacts as saying monasteries in his home county of Nyagchu (Chinese: Yajiang) in Sichuan’s Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture had been ordered to remove all references to the well-known religious figure from the historical records of their establishment.
“Documenting the histories of these monasteries was ordered by the Chinese government, and the Tibetans who compiled these histories then distributed them among the public,” the report quoted the source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect his contacts in the region.
“Many Tibetans who read these books were disappointed to see that nothing was said in them about Tulku Tenzin Delek, and they began to hold discussions about this with each other on social media,” the source has said, adding, “The Chinese government then ordered this chat group to shut down.”
For example, “Tulku Tenzin Delek played the main role in the revival of Kham Nalanda Thekchen Jangchub Choling monastery, but in the history of this monastery neither his name nor any of his activities connected with it are mentioned,” the source has said.