Tibetan Former Political prisoner Sonam Gyalpo passes away in Lhasa on 16 of this month succumbed to his illness.
“The Venerable has died as succumbed to his illness” Said by one of the executive members at the Central U-tsang Cholka committee. It is written in the website of U-Tsang Cholka, “with a heavy heart we mourn for his demise. We made offers for the deceased to the esteemed Gaden Phodrang, Namgyal Dratsang, Kirti Jepa Dratsang, Dolma Ling, JangTse and Shartse Dratsang so that he can reborn in the realm of Chenrezig for all his lifetimes.”
Sonam Gyalpo was among the 21 monks from Drepung monastery who initiated a peaceful protest in Lhasa on September 27, 1987. For that reason, Chinese authorities accused them of ‘counter revolutionary’ and he was sentenced for three years. After his release, he got the opportunity to visit Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India and receive blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During his return to Tibet, he was arrested by Chinese authorities in a hotel on the Tibet-Nepal border, Dram. He was then sentenced for another two years on an alleged charge of crossing the border illegally.
In 2005 Chinese police officials searched his residential room thoroughly and found a few videotapes containing teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his pictures. Again, he was sentenced to12 year’s imprisonment on trumped-up charge of ‘endangering state security’. In his whole life, he served 17 years in prison.