Lodi Gyari, who held nine rounds of talks with China, passes away

Lodi Gyari in a 2008 file photo.

Lodi Gyari in a 2008 file photo. File Photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 29 October 2018

Lodi Gyari, former Special Envoy to the Dalai Lama in the US, who was battling liver cancer, has died, according to sources. He was 70.

He passed away around 6am Monday morning (29 October) at a hospital in San Francisco in California, surrounded by his family.

Lodi Gyari was born in Nyarong in Eastern Tibet in 1949, and fled into exile in India following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959.

At a young age he was recognised as the reincarnation of a Buddhist master of the Nyingma lineage, gaining the title Gyari Rinpoche.

After coming into exile he initiated various projects. He was the editor of the Tibetan Freedom Press (a Tibetan-language periodical), and then started the Voice of Tibet (now Tibetan Review), the first-ever English language journal published by a Tibetan.

Gyari was one of the founders of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest Tibetan NGO working towards an independent Tibet.

He eventually served in the Tibetan administration-in-exile, including positions as Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and Cabinet Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration.

While in the US as Special Envoy of the Dalai Lama as the political leader of the Tibetan people, Gyari led the Tibetan side of the delegation for nine rounds of dialogue with the Chinese government in attempts to resolve the Tibetan issue, between 2002 and 2010.

From 1999 to 2014, he was the Executive Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).

He was said to be writing his autobiography in the last few years.

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