PEN Mourns Death of Friend and Vice-President of PEN Tibetan Writers Abroad, Lobsang Chokta
The PEN community is devastated today by the news of the murder of our friend and colleague, Lobsang Chokta in Delhi, India. As Vice-President of PEN Tibetan Writers Abroad, he was a tireless champion of literature, freedom of expression and linguistic rights. He was wonderful to work with, was a committed member of the PEN family, and was an unwavering advocate for imprisoned Tibetan writers, language, and heritage. We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to his family, knowing that it can in no way make up for their loss.
Carles Torner, Executive Director of PEN International, said, “We are full of sorrow. Lobsang was the most peaceful and cheerful person, as well as the most dedicated to the cultural rights of the Tibetan people. We still hear his clear voice in our assembly of delegates denouncing the injustices committed by the Chinese against his people. His friendship with writers from all over the world made him a staunch advocate of Tibetan literature. I remember well, at the end of the Girona meeting last May, when I told him: ‘Let’s think big, my friend: why don’t we host an international Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee meeting in Lhasa?’ He answered, ‘I always dream big: we will have the PEN International Congress in Lhasa one day.’ On that day, we will honor him again.”
The circumstances of his death are currently unclear. PEN will be following the investigation closely as it develops.