Saturday, October 12, 2013

Murder of Akong Rinpoche: The Murderer and the Motive

The following release has just been received here:


Now that the Chengdu Police have released the names of the men who killed Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, his nephew and attendant, we are in a position to confirm that one of the suspects named by the police, Tu Dan Gu Sha also known as Thubten Kunsal, had previously spent more than five years in the UK, and returned to China two years ago. 

Whilst residing in the UK he made religious statues at our monastery in Scotland and our London centre. He left very happy and there was no question of any economic dispute. My brother, Chuje Akong Tulku Rinpoche had always been very kind to Thubten Kunsal and welcomed him into the heart of our community.

According to an official microblog post by the Chengdu police force, the three suspects confronted my brother and the other two victims, with knives, at his home in Chengdu in what is being described as an “economic dispute.”

We strongly refute any claims that Thubten Kunsal was owed money by Akong Rinpoche, the monastery or our London centre. When he was with us in the UK we supported his living expenses as agreed in writing, and there was never any dispute about that. 

We are therefore very shocked that two years later he came demanding money, knowing that Akong Rinpoche was about to send funds to the ROKPA charitable projects in the Tibetan areas of China. As we have already stated, Akong Rinpoche died defending those funds. 

It has been reported in the press that the driver who was killed was a monk from Samye Ling. This is not correct. It was Akong Tulku Rinpoche's Tibetan attendant, from his Monastery Dolma Lhakang, who has not been to the UK.

I hope this statement will clear up any misunderstandings,

With thanks for your prayers and kind wishes,

Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche

Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery, Scotland.

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4 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

They murdered him over money -- really? (LL)

Anonymous said...

"We are therefore very shocked that two years later he came demanding money" Is that really the main thing to be shocked about...?

Anonymous said...

I was at Samye Ling at the weekend. The Chinese Police version of events seems to be true from what I heard there and corroborated by information from local sources in Chengdu. Anyone who knew Thubten Kunsal from his time at Samye Ling is shocked by his alleged actions although some people have said to me there was some concern over his mental health before he returned to China a couple of years ago.

Akong Rinpoche's family have said that they will press for him and the other accused to be spared the death penalty if convicted. The statues and other art work he did in Samye Ling its London branch will remain and be reconsecrated.

Anonymous said...

If there are issues concerning his mental health he should be referred for a psychiatric assessment (assuming that sort of examination exists over there) to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. If he is found to be fit to stand trial he should be spared the death penalty only if he expresses remorse and contrition for his actions. Otherwise, the death penalty is nothing less than he deserves for the suffering and distress he has caused the many thousands of Akong Rinpoche's students worldwide.