Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Unfortunate accident

"My heart and my determination is with my cause, my people."~Jigme Norbu

Jigme Norbu (1st image, pictured with Archbishop Desmond Tutu), the nephew of the Dalai Lama (2nd image) has been struck and killed by a car here in Florida. It happened on Monday during the 1st leg of a 300-mile walk to promote Tibet's independence from China. Though darkness was falling, he insisted on finishing the last 2 miles. Norbu was alone and headed south in the same direction as traffic on an unlit coastal highway when Keith R. O'Dell, a 31-year-old father with his 5-year-old in the car, swerved but was unable to avoid him. Wearing dark clothing and walking along the side of the road rather than the sidewalk on the northbound side, Norbu came into contact with the hood and windshield, and was dead upon arrival of the paramedics. About an hour before the accident, a Florida couple met Norbu on the road and described him as smiling and happy. Worried about the fading light, they offered him overnight lodging at their condominium, but he declined and planned to camp out with the other walkers, who had gone to a nearby restaurant. So the Collinses offered space and amenities to the group behind their wine and cheese shop 3 miles away, learning later by phone that Norbu had been killed. "We deeply regret the passing of Jigme Norbu and appreciate his work to help Tibet and the Tibetan people," said Arjia Rinpoche, director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana, where Norbu lived. The 45-year-old had logged more than 7,800 miles worldwide on his bicycle and on foot in support of freedom for Tibet.

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