The Dalai Lama recalled the friendship he shared with Bawa Phunstog Wangyal since 1951, and prayed for him and the Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet including the self immolators on March 31, 2014.
He made the remarks at the end of a teaching this morning at the main temple of Tsuklagkhang located in Dharamsala, North India.
The Dalai Lama recalled the days he spent with Phuntsok Wangyal in Beijing, and the telephone coversation he had when Phunwang was in Europe. He spoke about the sincerity and love of Phuntsog Wangyal for Tibet. "He was a true Communist, genuinely motivated to fulfill the interests of the Tibetan people. In his death, we have lost a trusted friend." said the Dalai Lama.
He urged the nearly ten thousand Tibetans gathered at the teaching to recite prayers and added, 'we can't do anything other than to pray'.
Samdhong Rinpoche, former head of the Tibetan administration in exile, also paid tribute at a teaching he gave at Gyutoe Monastery, near Dharamsala yesterday.
The office of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala sent their condolences to the family members.