As a mark of respect, the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala remained closed on Saturday afternoon, following an hour-long prayer session.
Born into an eminent Nyingma lineage family in 1951, in Aninkar, Tibet, Chodak Gyatso began his education at the age of four at Nyendril Ling Monastery. He fled Tibet with his family in 1959, during which many of them died.
He studied at the Tibetan school in Mussoorie and spent two years at the University of Delhi, studying Eastern and Western philosophy. He also received teachings from His Eminence Dudjom Rinpoche and HE Dilgo Kheyntse Rinpoche.
Between 1979 and 1990, Chodak Gyatso worked for the Tibetan exile community in India. In Varanasi, he was President of both the Bod Rangwang Denpai Legul Tsokchung and the Students' Welfare committee at the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. Later, he became advisor to the International Students' Association at Delhi University and the first President of the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association in Dharamsala.
After being elected representative of Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism to the ATPD, Chodak Gyatos chaired the ATPD’s 10th Assembly from 1988 to 1990. In 1992, he moved to Los Angeles and took charge of the Thondup Ling Buddhist Center.
On Saturday, Kalon Venerable Tsering Phuntsok, Minister of Religion and Culture for the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in Dharamsala, praised Chodak Gyatso's contribution, dedication and selfless devotion to the Tibetan cause.
STOP PRESS: The Central Tibetan Administration today announced the death of Mr Lobsang Wangchuk, a retired civil servant whose service spanned nearly 25 years. He passed away yesterday, aged 64, following a prolonged illness, and was cremated this morning in Dharamsala.
Born in 1945, in Lhoka, Tibet, Mr Wanchuk joined the Tibetan civil service in 1971, and was deputed at the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. He served in various capacities, including Deputy Secretary to His Holiness’ office, Deputy Head of the Tibetan Self-help Handicraft Centre in Darjeeling; and in the Health Department and Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
In 1994, he was promoted to Joint Secretary, and later worked in the Bureau of His Holiness in Delhi, and as Secretary at the Office of His Holiness in Nepal. He retired in 1997.