Associated Press reported on 13 July they had confirmed the death after contacting a member of the Public Security Bureau in Dazhu county (Sichuan). However, no official statement has been issued by the Chinese authorities confirming the date or cause of death.
Family members have approached the authorities to ascertain the reasons behind the death and to urge they release his body. According to Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, no response has been received to these requests other than a statement saying that officials are “holding a meeting” about the matter.
International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) quoted Geshe Nyima, a relative of Rinpoche’s who lives in exile, as saying, “There are so many unanswered questions about how he died; was it due to poor health, lack of medical treatment, or was he subjected to torture or other poor treatment that resulted in his death?”