Dalai Lama's nephew dies on pro-Tibet walk

Tuesday 15 February 2011 17.41
Jigme Norbu - Nephew of Dalai Lama
Jigme Norbu - Nephew of Dalai Lama

The nephew of the Dalai Lama has died after being struck by a car while marching in a pro-Tibet demonstration on a Florida highway.

The Highway Patrol said in a brief statement that Jigme Norbu was walking on the edge of a local highway in north-eastern Florida when he was hit by a SUV and 'was determined to be deceased upon the arrival of emergency services'.

Mr Norbu, 45, was the son of Takster Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama's eldest brother. He was on a Valentine's Day ‘Walk for Tibet’ with a small group of activists to raise awareness of human rights abuses in Tibet, according to an activist website.

The 14-26 February walk was to cover 300 miles between the Florida coastal cities of St. Augustine and West Palm Beach, according to www.ambassadorsforworldpeace.org.

The walk was to include ‘many opportunities to share our message of world peace, human rights, and the Tibetan struggle for independence,’ the site said.

Mr Norbu completed earlier similar walks, most recently a 300-mile march in Taiwan in December.

The Florida Highway Patrol said that Mr Norbu was a resident of Bloomington, in the US state of Indiana.

Mr Norbu's father Takster Rinpoche, who advocated independence for Tibet, died in Indiana in 2008 at the age of 86.

The Dalai Lama champions a ‘middle path’ policy that espouses ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibet, rather than the full independence.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 following a failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule.