Tsering Gonkatsang was a trustee of our research partner Tibet Watch for over ten years and was instrumental in the organisation's work and development. Others will remember Tsering for his work as a teacher and as a tireless activist for freedom in Tibet. He will be greatly missed by many people across the Tibet movement and his loss is certainly felt by the team here at Free Tibet and Tibet Watch.
Born in 1951 in Sharkhog, eastern Tibet, Tsering Gonkatsang was raised and educated in India. He became a headmaster at the Tibetan Children's Village School in Dharamsala, where he taught Tibetan refugee children. He then moved to the UK in 1987 to pursue higher education. He taught English at the International Community School in London for a decade before becoming the Instructor in Tibetan Language in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford.
Tsering Gonkatsang was known among his colleagues and friends as a humble, joyful, compassionate and highly knowledgeable person. In addition to his career as a teacher, he was also renowned as a talented painter, writer and sportsman. To Tibetans, he was known as Genla (The Teacher). He is survived by his wife Dolker, their three children and two grandchildren.
The Tibet Watch field team, based in Dharasamala, India, also paid tribute to Tsering Gonkatsang:
“The Tibet Watch field team is profoundly saddened and shocked by the sudden demise of Tsering Gonkatsang, who had not only served in Tibet Watch as trustee of the organisation, but also had engaged in various Tibetan and Tibet Support Groups. An educator, teacher and activist, his permanent departure is a huge loss for the Tibetans in general and for Tibet Watch in particular. We pay our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family. He will be remembered for his untiring work towards Tibet’s freedom and education. May his soul rest in peace.”