Dalai Lama's Translator and Top Tibetan Scholar, Lobsang Lhalungpa, TBoned by DWI in Santa Fe, dies

Dalai Lama's gentle friend, 82, dies from injuries; wife was driving and pickup littered with empty beer cans slammed into them; was major figure in creating Tibetan Government in Exile, and in publishing, scholarship, teaching Tibetan philosophy
April 29, 2008 - PRLog -- Rupturing his pancreas immediately, the pick up truck spun his car around 180
degrees on a heavy trafficked busy street; the inebriated driver from Santo Domingo ran away and has not yet been apprehended as of this writing....

Being killed by in a DWI fatality at 82, Santa Fe Living Treasure Lobsang Lhalungpa was one of my first Tibetan friends, and certainly by far the wisest and scholarly among my Tibetan friends. He was always the most polite and most scholarly of them all. He accomplished a world of good in his educating and through his translating.

He translated extensively over the past 40 years for the Dalai Lama, and also translated his English speeches into Tibetan. Many of Lobsang's books were introduced with a short preface by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. He was monumentally instrumental in setting up the Tibetan Government in exile, and also for many years in India coordinated a Tibetan language program on All India Radio, for refugees and exiles, to keep up with the news from their former nation, grabbed by China for its fertility, its open spaces, its Himalayan Melt water sources, et. al.

Lobsang's scholarly efforts were formidable; he often declined contact with the world and its repetitive news, good or bad, when he was in a state of spiritual retreat.

Not many know this, but it was Lobsang's father, who, as Chief Tibetan State Oracle, strongly advised His Holiness to leave Lhasa right away, to escape the Chinese, rather than wait a day or two, as many were advising him. I am sure His Holiness has never forgotten this brilliant stroke of genius, and of course, always conferred with Lobsang Lhalungpa in many matters. Lobsang was very humble about this fact.

He was the best top-knotch translator between Tibetan and English in the world, and his scholar words included a life of Milarepa, and many others, some of which are shown here:


This tragic hit-and-run is a devastating and terrible tragedy for his widow, Gisela, and for his children. However, knowing Lobsang, he would not want any of us to be disconsolate; life is fleeting; death comes unpredictably, and that is much the nature at the heart of his faith in Buddhism.

I hope the Tibetan Association of Santa Fe, to which he was a Senior Advisor for many years, as the Olympics  draw near, will rise to the occasion and will have a few memorial service and many more marches around the Plaza, in honor of this great great man, Lobsang Lhalungpa, who so tremendously enriched the lives of so many that he touched with his infinite calm, reasoning, and brilliant insights.

We will all miss him terribly.

Surely, this level of tragedy might impel the New Mexico Legislature to "tighten up the screws" on DWI, close up some looming loopholes, and keep inevitable killers off the streets and away from driving automobiles!

Everyone in New Mexico has some personal experience with a family or friend or neighbor getting killed or maimed by a drunk driver....it is time we put an end to this pathology, or like a cancer, it will come back and destroy us.

This is how it should be in New Mexico and every other state with serious drunk driving/fatality statistics:

Drive Drunk once? You lose your car for six months and you go to jail.

Drive Drunk Twice? You lose your car and your assets, and you to go jail for 1-2 years

Drive Drunk Three Times? You stay in jail for a long time, like 3-6 years, lose your car nd all of your assets.

I have asked several New Mexico State Senators to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Public Safety and the New Mexico Attorney General to prepare a personal report on the past 100 incidents when someone has been killed by DWI, to see what it might reveal: about repeat offenders, or how many are out on appeal, their right when going from our failed Magistrate Courts in New Mexico to District Court, even if they were convicted and still obviously a danger to life and limb amond the rest of the population.

Watch for some powerful legislative solutions (in memory of Lobsang Lhalunpa) in the 2009 New Mexico Legislature. I PROMISE YOU!

Stephen Fox, Founder, New Millennium Fine Art
Managing Editor, Santa Fe Sun-News
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Tags:Tibetan Culture, Lhasa
Industry:Religion, Government, Literature
Location:Santa Fe - New Mexico - United States
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