Exhausted after his recent journey to Europe, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was briefly hospitalised in order to rest. Thupten Jigme Norbu, his elder brother, also known as Taktser Rinpoché, died on 5 September 2008. Thupten Jigme Norbu was born in Taktser, a small mountain village in the Amdo region of Tibet. At the age of 3 years he was recognised by the former Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Taktser Rinpoché. At the age of 9 years he was taken to the monastery of Kumbum, where the founder of the Gelugpa school, Tsong Khapa, was born. At 27, he was chosen as the Head of the Monastery, and Kumbum was one of the first places to be invaded by the army of the Popular Republic of China. The army kept Thupten Taktser Norbu assigned to residence, and insisted that he denounce his young brother, the Dalai Lama, then aged 15 years. Instead, Norbu went to Lhassa and warned his brother of the threat of Chinese invasion. Norbu himself fled China in 1950 and tried to warn the world about the atrocities and actions of the PRC in Tibet.
He worked continually for the Tibetan cause, and was representative of the Tibetan government in exile in Japan and also in the USA. He has written several books and given numerous lectures on the Tibetan cause. In 1979, he founded the Tibeto-Mongol Buddhist Cultural Centre, and co-founded the Tibet Independence Movement.
The death of Norbu, committed partisan for the independence of Tibet, and the hospitalisation of the Dalai Lama, partisan for the middle way in negotiations with China, sounds a warning bell to the Chinese government to rapidly find an arrangement with the moderates. The Dalai Lama has called for an urgent meeting on Tibet because of “the serious situation inside Tibet”, as provided for in Article 59 of the Constitution of Tibet. This meeting will take place between 17 and 22 November in Dharamsala, and will be attended by Tibetan Ministers, parliamentarians and officials, as well as representatives of NGOs, experts and intellectuals.
Chronique de France-Tibet, Bouddhisme Actualités, October 2008