ITANAGAR, Oct 16: Former Arunachal Pradesh Minister and a veteran Congress leader Tsering Tashi has passed away at his Siddharth Vihar, Itanagar residence after a prolonged illness. He was 69 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
“He died on late Thursday evening following a long battle with cancer,” his younger brother and State Surveillance Officer (IDSP) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.
Born on January 14, 1951 at Khirmu village in Tawang district, Tsering Tashi, who graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat, had joined active politics in 1978, and won the mid-term polls in 1980.
He was inducted into the Gegong Apang ministry as one of the five Cabinet ministers immediately after his first election victory.
During his first term in office, he held the portfolios of PWD and Cooperative, among others, and in the second term, late Tashi held the portfolios of Social-Culture, Finance, RWD, Law and Elections.
He was instrumental in getting the district status for Tawang in 1984 which was under the erstwhile undivided Kameng district.
Apart from politics, late Tashi remained an active proponent of traditional culture and heritage. He started the Cultural Society at Tawang in 1977 which was expanded into the present day Tawang Social, Cultural and Literary Society.
He was also instrumental in the formation of the Itanagar Buddhist Culture Society. He also requested for the establishment of the Men-Tsee-Khang (a traditional Tibetan wellness center) at Itanagar Gompa which has been of great benefit to many suffering from chronic diseases.
In Tawang, it was under his initiative that the first roofing of the living quarters of the monks was undertaken. He also worked tirelessly for the improvement of nunneries in Tawang.
Meanwhile, State Governor Brig (Retd) BD Mishra, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Assembly Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona condoled the demise of the former Minister and prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul.
The Governor said that Tashi was a veteran politician who served the State in different capacities in its nascent stage. One of the first generation political leaders of Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh, he served with distinction in the State Cabinet.
“Late Tashi was a man of varied interests and made lasting contributions in the promotion of literary works, social activities, indigenous culture and traditions. In his demise, the State has lost a senior and distinguished leader who left a lasting imprint in different areas of public life,” the Governor said in a condolence message.
“It is with great sadness that I learned of passing away of former Minister of Arunachal, Tsering Tashi Ji. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and well wishers and pray for the peace of the departed soul. I also pray for strength to his loved ones to bear the loss,” Khandu tweeted.
An ardent advocate of unity in diversity, he constantly upheld good relations with all other communities, Khandu said.
In his condolence message, the Speaker said that late Tsering Tashi was an experienced and committed leader, who made important contributions towards the development of the State. He also prayed to Lord Buddha for eternal peace of the departed soul.
Mourning the demise of the former minister, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee said late Tsering Tashi was a first generation veteran leader and social & cultural reformer of the State, who was instrumental in establishing the foothold of the Congress party in Tawang and remained a member of the grand old party throughout his political career.
As a Minister of the Congress Govt from 1980-1989, he worked tirelessly to spread Congress values and establish the party at the grassroots level. His untimely demise is a great loss for the Congress party in particular and the State in general, the APCC said.
His body will be kept at his residence, Tenzin Villa, for next two days for his former colleagues, friends and well-wishers to pay their last respects to the departed leader.
The mortal remains of Tsering Tashi will be flown to Tawang on Monday morning where his last rites will be performed according to Buddhist funeral traditions, Dr Jampa informed.