Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) hosted an incredible event at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, DC to bestow the Tenzin Delek Rinpoche Medal of Courage award. This year the medal was awarded (in absentia) to Tashi Wangchuk, a dedicated Tibetan language rights activist who is currently being detained by the Chinese government.
The award ceremony was led by Pema Yoko, Interim Executive Director, Students for a Free Tibet and included speeches by Congressman Jim McGovern, NED President Carl Gershman, Representative Penpa Tsering, ICT President Matteo Mecacci and Sharon Hom, Human Rights in China, and Dorjee Tseten, Member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile and SFT Asia Director. All the speakers spoke passionately about Tenzin Delek Rimpoche and the need for China to be held accountable for its ongoing human rights violations in Tibet.
The Medal of Courage was bestowed by Ms Nyima Lhamo, niece of the late Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who spoke movingly about Rinpoche’s selfless work during his lifetime, as well as his illegal detention and brutal treatment by the Chinese regime; ultimately leading to his death in 2015.
Rinpoche’s memory and lasting contributions will live on in the annual “Medal of Courage Award” and will no doubt continue to inspire generations of human rights defenders and Tibet activists both inside and outside Tibet.