Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chöje Akong Rinpoche reportedly assassinated in China

Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chöje Akong Rinpoche reportedly assassinated in China October 8, 2013

Oct. 9 Update: The story has been covered by numerous news sites across the UK: ITV, the Belfast Telegraph, The Scotsman, along with those listed below and Phayul, a major Tibetan website based in India.

The police in China, as noted below, have arrested three Tibetan men, listed as “a Tibetan man from Derge and two others from Chamdo Joda region” by Phayul. According to The Scotsman, “A spokesman for the Free Tibet campaign said his organisation did not want to comment on Dr Rinpoche’s death until the full facts were made public.”

If you have further information, please comment below. Any information on the youtube video posted in the comments would also be appreciated. 


The following comes from the facebook page of the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Buddhist Centre:

To all dear friends of Samye Ling and Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche

I am very, very sorry to inform you all that tragically, my brother Choje Akong Rinpoche, my nephew and one monk who was travelling with then, were all assassinated in Chengdu today. Rinpoche’s body has been taken to hospital where a post mortem will be carried out. That is all the news I have so far. If I receive further news I will let you know.

My nephew Kating Lama has been able to inform His Holiness Karmapa’s sister who has informed H H Karmapa, H H Dalai Lama and Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa and they are all saying prayers.

We will have to do a lot of special prayers and make a lot of appropriate offerings on Rinpoche’s behalf and any contributions you wish to make in his name will be much appreciated.

I request you all to do whatever prayers you can.
With best wishes,

Lama Yeshe Rinpoche 



Comments and condolences are pouring in there (new/alt link) but no official report can be found at this time.  (10:50 pm update): The UK’s Telegraph reports that police in China claim to have arrested 3 Tibetans in connection with the killing, which they described as a stabbing in a resedential area in a dispute over money.

Chengdu is situated in southwest China (the capital of Sichuan Provence) with an urban area population of over 14 million people.

Born in 1940, in Dharak Village, Riwoche County, in the Chamdo area of Kham, which is part of the Tibetan areas of China, he was discovered at a very young age by the search party seeking the reincarnation of the previous (1st) Akong, Karma Miyo, Abbot of Lho Tsawagang Drolma Lhakang Monastery in Pashu County in the Chamdo area of Kham. The search party was following precise instructions given by HH 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Supreme Head of the Karma Kagyu Tradition….

In 2011 Akong Tulku Rinpoche was chosen as a recipient of the “60 years, 6 people” accolade, in which the British Home Secretary awards former refugees who have made an inspiring and meaningful contribution to Britain.

Akong Tulku Rinpoche has authored 3 books, the first of which, Taming the Tiger, has been translated into 17 languages and is widely known. He has also presented several papers on Buddhism, medicine, charity and therapy and has been interviewed extensively by worldwide media.

Akong Tulku Rinpoche is a guiding light in the transmission and preservation of Buddhism. His work has been profoundly influential in establishing Tibetan Buddhism’s place in Western society and culture,  both through his extensive projects and also through activities such as being the first Tibetan lama in Europe licensed to perform weddings and funerals.

The increasing burden of his charity work abroad has led Akong Tulku Rinpoche to appoint his brother, Venerable Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche as Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling in Scotland, who has since been  successfully strengthening the monastic community there.

(see Samye Ling for a full bio)

You can find out more about Akong Rinpoche here.

An indigogo campaign was recently launched in the UK to create a film documenting his life called AKONG, A Remarkable Life:

Further links/news will be posted as they become available. ITV in India reports the above with no further details.

5:50pm GMT, BBC news has now reported the story, again with no new details.

6:20pm GMT, there is an excellent recent back-story on Akong Rinpoche at Elephant Journal (dated Sept 7, 2013).

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