Geneva: The Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Lichtenstein (TCSL) organized a prayer service at Tibet Institute Rikon, Switzerland, marking the 49th day since the demise of Tibet’s longest-serving political prisoner Takna Jigme Sangpo on 4 December.
Adhering Swiss federal’s guidelines on physical distancing and safety-related measures combating the spread of Wuhan originated COVID-19 pandemic, the prayer service was attended by Representative Chhimey Rigzen and Mr. Sonam Therchin of Tibet Bureau Geneva; Europe member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Jampa Tsering Samdho; former Europe members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile; President of the Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Lichtenstein (TCSL)Tsamda Norbu; executive members of TCSL and representatives from Swiss-Tibetan Women Association, Association of three provinces of Tibet, Tibetan Youth Association-Europe, representatives from Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association and members of the Tibetan community including former Tibetan political prisoners.
The prayers commenced was led by Venerable Abbot Geshe Thupten Legmen of Tibet Institute Rikon and the monks residing there.
Speaking at the prayer service, Representative Chhimey Rigzen thanked the Tibetan Community of Switzerland & Lichtenstein for “holding all necessary Buddhist rituals including funeral service and weekly prayers as well as this 49th day prayer service” in honour of Takna Jigme Sangpo.
Takna Jigme Sangpo passed away on 17 October 2020. He had been living in Switzerland since receiving political asylum in 2003, a year after serving 37 years in Chinese prison. Takna Jigme, a primary school teacher by profession, was initially imprisoned in 1960 under alleged charges of “corrupting the minds of children with revolutionary ideas.” Later he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment under alleged charges of “counter-revolutionary” propaganda in 1970. Since then, Takna Jigme had been re-arrested and jailed for various prison terms subjected to prolonged solitary confinement eventually resulting in 37 years in Chinese prison. Due to sustained efforts and advocacy pressing the Chinese government for his release, Takna Jigme Sangpo was released on medical parole in 2002.