It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) learned today of the passing of longtime friend and partner Lodi Gyari, a tireless fighter for the rights of the Tibetan people.
“Lodi Gyari was a monumental figure in the history of the Tibetan struggle to resist Chinese oppression and to preserve the identity, religion, and cultural integrity of Tibetan Buddhists,” said NED president Carl Gershman.
“From his co-founding of the Tibetan Youth Congress in 1970, to his leadership of the International Campaign for Tibet, to his role as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy in conducting negotiations with Beijing to resolve peacefully the issue of Tibet’s status, Lodi Gyari was a Tibetan leader of enormous stature and accomplishment. He was also well-known and greatly respected in the U.S. Congress and in Washington policy circles, and he played a pivotal role in building the close relationship between the United States and Tibet.
“Lodi was a devoted democrat who helped develop the democratic institutions of the Tibetan community in exile, and who fervently emphasized and explained the importance of India’s democracy to the cause of democracy worldwide. Not least, he was a dear friend and cherished adviser of the NED, where he will be deeply mourned and long remembered.”
The Board of Directors and staff of the NED offer their sincere condolences to Lodi Gyari’s family and friends and to all who carry on his work on behalf of the Tibetan people.